Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts to Henrietta Seuss and Theodor P. Geisel. His father was a parks commander in charge of Forest Park, a huge park that included within its borders a zoo and was located three blocks from a library. Both Geisel's father and grandfather were also brewmasters in Springfield, which may have influenced his views on Prohibition. As a freshman member of the Dartmouth College class of 1925, he joined the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern as his primary activity throughout college, eventually rising to the rank of editor-in-chief. (He took over the post from his close friend, author Norman MacLean.) However, after Geisel was caught throwing a drinking party (and thereby violating Prohibition), the school insisted that he resign from all extra-curricular activities. He entered Lincoln College, Oxford, intending to earn a doctorate in literature. At Oxford he met Helen Palmer Geisel, married her in 1927, and returned to the United States without earning the degree. The "Dr." in his pen name is an acknowledgment of his father's unfulfilled hopes that Seuss would earn a doctorate at Oxford. As World War II began, Dr. Seuss turned to political cartoons, drawing over 400 in two years as editorial cartoonist for the left-wing New York City daily newspaper, PM. Dr. Seuss's political cartoons opposed the viciousness of Hitler and Mussolini and were highly critical of isolationists, most notably Charles Lindbergh, who opposed American entry into the war. Some cartoons depicted all Japanese Americans as latent traitors or fifth-columnists, while at the same time other cartoons deplored the racism at home against Jews and blacks that harmed the war effort. His cartoons were strongly supportive of President Roosevelt's conduct of the war, combining the usual exhortations to ration and contribute to the war effort with frequent attacks on Congress (especially the Republican Party), parts of the press... [continues]
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