Who is Ted Geisel?

Ted Geisel seated at his drawing board.
Ted Geisel at his drawing board.
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth N. Cahill

After his book The Cat in the Hat burst upon the scene in 1957 Dr. Seuss became a household name deeply ingrained in our collective experience. No one who has grown up in the last 50 years can imagine their childhood without the wonderfully zany images and poetically comic verses of Theodor Seuss Geisel, writing under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss was one of the most prolific children’s authors of the twentieth century. Through the course of his career he wrote and illustrated 44 children’s books and helped produce a number of film and television programs. His most celebrated books include Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dr. Seuss’s honors include two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize.

Mulberry Street book coverMost people don’t realize that many of Dr. Seuss’s ideas came from his years growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts.

While children and adults worldwide know about the extraordinary creativity of Dr. Seuss, most people don’t realize that many of his ideas came from his years growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts. So many of the scenes he’s most known probably came from buildings or parks or other locations he knew as a child. Springfield was a dynamic and thriving city in his early years, and although we can’t confirm this from written or recorded oral statements of Dr. Seuss himself, many historians knowledgeable about the city in the early twentieth century have felt that the things he saw as a child directly influenced the observant child.

This website explores the deep connection that Ted Geisel, later Dr. Seuss, formed with the city of his birth. His family experiences, the schools he attended, and the sights and sounds that were all around him most likely formed his special imaginary world and it’s even possible that what he saw then led to the wonderful vision that can only be called Seussian.

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