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10 Things You Didn't Know About Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss's fun, zany and inspiring books have delighted children for decades. Find out more about this much-loved writer and illustrator below.

1. He was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in March 1904.

He would adopt the pen-name 'Dr. Seuss' during his time at Dartmouth College, when - having been banned from writing for the university's humour magazine for drinking alcohol illegally - he began to write for the magazine under the pseudonym 'Seuss'. He added 'Dr.' because his father had wanted him to go into medicine.

2. The original pronunciation of 'Seuss' rhymes with 'voice' rather than 'moose'.

But Dr. Seuss adopted the new anglicised pronunciation because most people said it that way anyway.

3. After graduating from Dartmouth College in the US, Dr. Seuss attended Lincoln College, Oxford, intending to earn a PhD in English literature.

However, it was here that he met his future wife, Helen Palmer, who persuaded him to abandon his plans to become a teacher and instead go into illustration.

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4. Dr. Seuss's first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected by dozens of publishers.

In fact, Dr. Seuss was going home to burn the manuscript when a chance encounter with an old acquaintance led to the publication of the story.

5. At the beginning of World War II, Dr. Seuss turned to political cartoons. He drew more than 400 cartoons over two years in his position as editorial cartoonist for the New York City newspaper, PM.

His cartoons tended to be highly critical of 'non-interventionists': those who did not want the US to become involved in the war.

6. The Cat in the Hat (1957) was written for beginner readers as an alternative to more traditional (and - Dr. Seuss believed - more boring) early reading books.

A director at the publishing company Houghton Mifflin asked Seuss to 'bring back a book children can't put down'. The result was the fantastically fun The Cat in the Hat, which achieved impressive international success and remains one of Dr. Seuss's most popular stories.

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7. Green Eggs and Ham, another of Seuss's 'beginner books', was the result of a bet between Dr. Seuss and his publisher, Bennett Cerf, that Seuss couldn't write a book using just 50 different words.

It's safe to say that Dr. Seuss won the bet; Green Eggs and Ham is now his most popular book, having sold more than 10 million copies. The story is filled with fun repetition and rhymes, including the famous line: 'I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.'

8. In 1956, Dr. Seuss was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Dartmouth College, finally justifying the 'Dr.' in his name.

He liked to joke that he was now 'Dr. Dr. Seuss'.

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9. Dr. Seuss won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his body of work, which has included more than 45 quirky, funny and poignant children's books.

His final book was Oh, the Places You'll Go! (1990), which features the well-known inspiring lines: 'You have brains in your head. / You have feet in your shoes. / You can steer yourself / any direction you choose.'

10. In September 1991, Dr. Seuss died of mouth cancer, aged 87.

In 2004, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.