First off, yes I realize that the book is really about fish. Ed and Eddy have a red and a blue harness though, plus I often call them thing one and thing two.
I am writing this post today in memory of and with dedication to Dr. Seuss. I know I missed his birthday by quite a bit, he was born March 2 1904, but none the less his children’s books really were a big part of my life. Dr. Seuss’ actual name was Ted Geisel and he started the pen name as a magazine cartoon artist in 1922. Art was Dr. Seuss’ true passion. He was a German-American born in Massachusetts who toyed with the idea of getting a PhD in English but alas never did, after graduating from Dartmouth though he did loosely study literature at Oxford. He never did earn a real graduates degree but he did however receive several honorary ones. He also met his wife, Helen Palmer, at school where she got her MA. She was a great fan of the doodles he kept in his notebooks and from what I read she was also a great support to not only his art, but also his career. Even though he didn’t finish school this obviously does not mean he stopped his journey towards greatness, and I believe Helen’s motivation was a contributing factor.
One thing I also very much like about Dr. Seuss is that you don’t look into his past and find out that he was anti-Semitic or hating on the gay community or exceptionally racist or anything weird like that. He did however have several progressiveist cartoons published in a variety of nation-wide publications. He joined the US army in 1943 and the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces. He made propaganda films promoting peace in Europe as well as training videos, and in 1945 was awarded a legion of merit and the Academy Award for documentary film about Japanese culture.
After the war Helen and Ted moved to southern California and this is when his children’s literature really took off, this is where and when he wrote most of his most famous pieces. He finally died of oral cancer in 1991 at the age of 87, and though he and his wife had no children of their own Dr. Seuss greatly inspired many children for the better. Of course I’m prone also to believe that his volumes of surviving work will continue to for years to come.