Writer, illustrator of beloved children’s books was Springfield native
Springfield native Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote dozens of beloved books under the pen name Dr. Seuss, is widely considered one of the most popular children’s authors of all time and is credited with helping to instill critical life lessons in a generation of American readers.
Geisel, who died in 1991 at the age of 87, was born and raised in Springfield and published more than 60 children’s books during his career, including the worldfamous titles “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Horton Hears a Who!” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”
His works, which sold upwards of 600 million copies and were translated into more than 20 languages, were eventually turned into TV series, television specials, fulllength feature films and even a Broadway musical.
Due to his prominent role in helping to foster a love of reading in millions of kids, Geisel’s birthday, March 2, has been adopted as National Read Across America Day by the National Education Association.
He was also the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, two Academy Awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Eleven years after Geisel died of oral cancer at his home in La Jolla, Calif., the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, which features a statue of him and many of his beloved characters, opened on Edwards Street in Springfield.
His characters are also memorialized at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Fla., which features “Seuss Landing,” a series of markets, rides and attractions based on his books.