How did Dr. Seuss get his name?
Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Geisel adopted his "Dr. Seuss" pen name during his university studies at Dartmouth College and the University of Oxford. He left Oxford in 1927 to begin his career as an illustrator and cartoonist for Vanity Fair, Life, and various other publications. He also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns, most notably for Flit and Standard Oil, and as a political cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM. He published his first children's book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937. During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army where he produced several short films, including Design for Death, which later won the 1947 Academy Award for Documentary Feature.
Geisel attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1925. At Dartmouth, he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the humor magazine Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, eventually rising to the rank of editor-in-chief. While at Dartmouth, he was caught drinking gin with nine friends in his room. At the time, the possession and consumption of alcohol was illegal under Prohibition laws, which remained in place between 1920 and 1933. As a result of this infraction, Dean Craven Laycock insisted that Geisel resign from all extracurricular activities, including the college humor magazine. To continue work on the Jack-O-Lantern without the administration's knowledge, Geisel began signing his work with the pen name "Seuss".
In late 1927, Geisel accepted a job as writer and illustrator at the humor magazine Judge. His first cartoon for Judge appeared on October 22, 1927 and his first work signed "Dr. Seuss" was published in Judge about six months after he started working there.