Today marks the birthday of two wonderful authors who I absolutely adore. The first is Theodore Geisel. Theodore Geisel, born on March 2, 1904, was better known to his fans as Dr. Seuss. He published forty-six children’s books under this pen name.
It is a little known fact that we have apparently been pronouncing his name wrong all these years! As a matter of fact, Seuss rhymes with voice not goose… because he didn’t want to be confused with Mother Goose. One of his friends even wrote a poem to help people remember:
You’re wrong as the deuce
And you shouldn’t rejoice
If you’re calling him Seuss.
He pronounces it Soice.
Mr. Geisel was unusual for a writer in that he preferred to be paid after his work was complete rather than in advance. Furthermore, he was a perfectionist and often took as long as a year to complete a single book, frequently discarding up to ninety-five percent of it as he went along.
Mr. Geisel died of oral cancer on September 24, 1991, at his home in La Jolla, California, at the age of 87.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Another author’s birthday we celebrate today is that of Desi Arnaz. Yes, I’m talking about the actor, musician, and producer who was married to Lucille Ball. Oh, you didn’t know he was an author? Yes, he penned his autobiography, simply entitled A Book, which was published in 1976. It was an immediate success.
In 1974, when he agreed to write his memoirs, his family and friends were shocked, as he never even enjoyed writing a letter. When the outline for A Book was planned, Desi found that he had enough material to fill two books. The first went through 1960, when he and Lucille Ball divorced. However when it became time for the second book to be written, which was to be entitled Another Book, Desi decided that he enjoyed living life more than writing about it.
Mr. Arnaz was born on March 2, 1917 in Cuba, and died of lung cancer at the age of 69, on December 2, 1986, in Del Mar, California.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Arnaz!
Time to talk: What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? What is your favorite Desi Arnaz role? Do you have a favorite I Love Lucy episode?