* DISCLAIMER – Some of these are NOT Family Friendly, Read on at your own Discretion. *
10. Dr Seuss was traumatized by Teddy Roosevelt, which stuck with this for his entire life.
World War I was in progress and Dr. Seuss was young and a boy scout trying to do his part to help (at the time, everyone was expected to do their part). He went door to do and became one of the most successful and productive war bonds salesman in his area. He had his grandfather to partially thank as he made a large donation of $1000.
Due to this success, Seuss and 9 other scouts were to be honored for their effort and results. They participated in a ceremony and Theodore Roosevelt was there himself to present the awards.
Although there were 10 boys, Roosevelt only brought 9 medals with him. He proceeded to give all of the boys their medals and Seuss was last. When Roosevelt got to Seuss, he had nothing to give him. Instead of admitting a mistake had been made, he looked at Seuss and said “What’s this boy doing here?”. Seuss was kicked off stage and not only was humiliated, he received nothing.
This stuck with Dr. Seuss for his entire life and constantly had a fear of crowds and avoided speaking engagements and feared being publicly humiliated again.
9. In College, he was Drinking on the Job – He was Caught, then Fired
Back in the 1920’s, Dr. Seuss attended school at Dartmouth. At the time he wrote for the Dartmouth comedy magazine called “The Jack-O-Lantern”. He did such a good job, he eventually became the editor-in-chief.
Everything was going great until him and his friends were caught drinking some gin. The thing to remember, back at this time – Prohibition was in effect so aside from just drinking on campus, it was also illegal.
Seuss was somewhat lucky, he was not reported to the police so he didn’t face any criminal charges. He was however removed from the team that worked on the magazine. This was a changing point in his life as after this happened – he adopted the pen name “Dr. Seuss” and started writing on his own.
8. The Title of his First Book was – The Pocket Book of Boners
In 1931, Dr. Seuss published his first book called Boners. It received amazing reviews. It was called “hilarious” by the New York Times.
It didn’t stop here! The Pocket Book of Boners was so successful it lead to sequels – Bigger & Better Boners, Prize Boners and Boners: By Those Who Pulled Them. The books features humorous illustrations of boners small, medium and large. This series of books was so popular, it actually became a full length book titled The Pocket Book of Boners.
Before your mind goes wondering, boner may be used to describe something different now. The original meaning of boner is an error. Ironically the book was sourced from children, but was not intended to be read by or to children. The books were filled with funny but borderline risque illustrations and jokes.
7. His First Advertising was for Oil and Pesticides
Flit, at the time was a pesticide company saw some of Dr. Seuss’ cartoons and hired him to help them with an ad campaign. From here, the slogan “Quick Henry—The Flit!” was born and became a well known sensation. It was so well known that almost every household in America knew it. It was so popular some comedians such as Jack Benny used it in some of their comedy routines.
Unfortunately, it was a different time back then. Many of the cartoons that Dr. Seuss produced for Flit at the time were offensive.
Lucky for Dr. Seuss, this was a break he needed and introduced him to the world of advertising. Eventually, Standard Oil also recruited in him make ads. Even with these opportunities, he still did his own cartoons and stories on the side and even made money by doing so.
6. He worked with Stan Lee and Chuck Jones to created Propaganda art for the Army
When World War II started, Dr. Seuss again found his way into the army. This time was a little different. He started to world with famous Marvel artist Stan Lee. They created pamphlets to warn soldiers about how dangerous it was to catch venereal diseases abroad.
He also worked with famed director Chuck Jones, who you may recognize from Looney Tunes. They worked together to make propaganda videos for the souldiers. One phrase that really took off was “Situation Normal: All F—ed Up.”, which helped made the “Private Snafu” series famous.
Dr. Seuss also created political cartoons at this time, again to help sell war bonds. One slogan that was used was “Slap a Jap’s” smile off his face. He was very passionate about supporting Japanese internment camps. Another popular quote was “If we want to win, we’ve got to kill the Japs, We can get palsy-walsy afterward with those that are left.”. Again, this was a different time!
After the war ended, Dr. Seuss actually visit Hiroshima and his stance changed. He was then inspired to write Horton Hears a Who and dedicated it to a man in Kyoto.
5. Dr. Seuss only agreed to write Kids Books if he Could Also Write A Sexy Naked Lady Book
Dr. Seuss took his skills to try erotica. When he was younger, he created some art to a comic called The Bedroom Companion. The comic was about a loney women who was full of lust. She was stuck on an island with a young boy whose catch phrase was “Is it my fault I’m only thirteen?”
He was sure it was his calling to write erotica. Part of his contract even stated that he had to write an adult book first. It was titled The Seven Lady Godivas, a story about seven naked girls. Almost every page of this book boasted images of a naked lady. Ironically the style was the same as used in his childrens books.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the book bombed and Dr. Seuss settled on “just” being a legendary children book writer. He even said “I tried to draw the sexiest babes I could, but they came out looking absurd.”
Maybe it’s a good thing he stuck with childrens books?
4. He is credited with Inventing The Words “Crunk” and “Nerd”
Of all the accomplishments and things you think of when you mention Dr. Seuss, the words “nerd” and “crunk” typically don’t come to mind. A really unique fun fact about Dr. Seuss is that he is the first person recorded to have used the word “nerd” when referring to another person.
The word “nerd” first appeared in his book – If I Ran the Zoo. Although there is no defined proof, but it is beleived that his use of the word in the book has evolved into the insult which is used today. In the book, one of the characters commits to bringing back a “nerd” from Ka-Troo. It’s used a little bit different than by today’s standards, but it’s still cool.
In another one of Dr. Seuss’ books, Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now – the word “crunk” is used for the first time. In the book, one of the characters states “go in a Crunk-Car, if you wish.”. Although in the book, a Crunk-Car is a large steam powered vehicle with legs.
3. In The Initial Draft Of the Book Hop On Pop, Dr. Seuss tested his editors to see if they actually read his work
Dr. Seuss either believe his editors would either not fully read his books or they would publish anything he wrote. He actually decided to test them on this and tried to sneak the word contraceptive into the book and even showed them how to sound it out. In the manuscript of Hop On Pop, he added this line:
“When I read I am smart
I always cut whole words apart,
Con Stan Tin O Ple, Tim Buk Too
Con Tra Cep Tive, Kan Ga Roo.”
His editor proved him wrong and the word contraceptive was cut from the finished copy.
2. He Was Actually Scared of Children
Dr. Seuss is a well known Children’s author who’s books has also been adapted to movies, tv shows, live plays and many other things. He never had any kids of his own. During one interview, when one reported asked about children, he told them “In mass, they terrify me.”
Although Dr. Seuss didn’t have children of his own. His second wife actually had children prior to them getting married. Her daughter even said that Dr. Seuss on his bad days was The Grinch. From there, How the Grinch Stole Christmas was born! He even stated that the Grinch was based off himself. He even had a custom license plate made with the word GRINCH on it!
1. When his wife had cancer, he cheated on her
There may have not been a Dr. Seuss as we know him without his first wife Helen. She encouraged him not to settle and encouraged him to chase his dreams as a writer and cartoon artist.
Later in life, she was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, Dr. Seuss in his one of his “not so great” moments slipped out of their house and met up with a younger lady. This younger lady was Audrey Stone Dimond who was also a long time friend of both Dr. Seuss and his wife.
Helen was absolutely heartbroken when she found out. With the reality of cancer sinking in and how hurt she was, it is rumored she even took her own life. Within a year after her death, Dr. Seuss married Audrey and they stayed together for the rest of his life.