Dr. Seuss, Born in 1904 as Theodor Seuss Geisel, he took on the name of Dr. Seuss in 1927 during his stint at Dartmouth and Lincoln College, Oxford, where he enrolled with the intention of earning his PhD in English Literature. But he gave up in his career pursuits at the behest of Helen Palm, whom he met at the college, encouraging him to take up a career in drawing instead.
In 1928, they married, and he worked drawing advertisements for years for a variety of notable companies such as NBC, Standard Oil and General Electric. In 1937, 9 years after he married his sweetheart, he wrote his first manuscript entitled, And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street.
That initial manuscript was famously rejected 28 times prior to being accepted by Random House/Vanguard Press. Ultimately, it led John O’Hara, who once held the office of President of the company to remark that “I’ve published any number of great writers, from William Faulkner to John O’Hara, but there’s only one genius on my authors list. His name is Ted Geisel.”
By the time of Geisel’s death in 1991, he had sold over 600 million copies of his books, which had been translated into 20 different languages, making him by far one of the most famous failures to have ever lived. His persistence carried him through, allowing him to succeed where others might have thrown in the towel and given up.