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#QueerQuote: “Why Fit In When You Were Born To Stand Out?” – Dr. Seuss

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During his senior year at Dartmouth College, Ted Geisel and nine of his friends were caught drinking in his room. This was the spring of 1925, and the dean put them all on probation for violating the Prohibition laws. He also dropped Geisel as editor of The Jack-O-Lantern, Dartmouth’s humor magazine, where Geisel published his cartoons. To evade his punishment, Geisel began publishing his cartoons under aliases: L. Pasteur, D.G. Rossetti, T. Seuss, and Seuss. This was the first time he signed his work ”Seuss”.

After college, he got a job as a magazine cartoonist, and he began signing his work under the mock-scholarly title of Dr. Theophrastus Seuss. He shortened that to Dr. Seuss in 1928. In acquiring his professional pseudonym, he also gained a new pronunciation. Most people pronounced the name Soose, and not Zoice. And that is how Ted Geisel became Dr. Seuss.

Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904 -1991) was an author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, publisher, and artist, best known for writing more than 60 children’s books. His work includes several of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 700 million copies and being translated into more than 20 languages.

Geisel was a political progressive and a supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and The New Deal. His early political cartoons show his passionate opposition to Fascism. His cartoons portrayed the fear of Communism as overstated, finding greater threats in the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Geisel converted a copy of one of his famous children’s books into a political parody during the Watergate Scandal by replacing the name of the main character with the name of the president everywhere that it occurred. Richard M. Nixon, Will You Please Go Now! was published in major newspapers.

Of Publishers Weekly’s list of the Top 100 Hardcover Children’s Books of All Time, 16 were written by Geisel, including Green Eggs And Ham, at Number four, The Cat In The Hat, at Number Nine, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, at Number 13.

His books are also among the most frequently banned by schools, with many being seen as political allegories. Green Eggs And Ham is banned in China. It was also banned in California because of Sam-I-Am’s apparent homosexual seduction of the protagonist. Also, because the ham is a phallic symbol, if you have a dirty mind.

The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Johnny Depp will produce and star in a film based on Geisel’s life.


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