Theodor Seuss Geisel (/ˈsuːs ˈɡaɪzəl; March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) was an American author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, book publisher, and artist, best known for authoring more than 60 children's books under the pen name Doctor Seuss (abbreviated Dr. Seuss) (/suːs/). His work includes several of the most popular children's books of all time, selling over 600 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages by the time of his death.
Geisel adopted the name "Dr. Seuss" as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College and a graduate student at the University of Oxford. He left Oxford in 1927 to begin his career as an illustrator and cartoonist for Vanity Fair, Life, and various other publications. He also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns, most notably for FLIT and Standard Oil, and as a political cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM. He published his first children's book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937. During World War II, he took a brief hiatus from children's literature and worked in an animation department of the United States Army where he produced several short films, including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
After the war, Geisel focused on children's books once again, writing classics like If I Ran the Zoo (1950), Horton Hears a Who! (1955), If I Ran the Circus (1956), The Cat in the Hat (1957), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), and Green Eggs and Ham (1960). He published over 60 books during his career, which have spawned numerous adaptations, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical, and four television series.
Geisel won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 for Horton Hatches the Egg and again in 1961 for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Geisel's birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.