Ted's Childhood

Ted with his parents and sister
Geisel family circa 1905: Nettie with daughter Marnie and Ted with father Theodor.
Photo from the collection of Peggy and Ted Owens.

Teds father, Theodor Robert Geisel, was born in 1879. He married Ted’s mother, Henrietta (Nettie) Seuss, in 1901.

Ted’s father worked at Forest Park in Springfield. Ted’s dad took him on behind-the-scenes tours of the zoo in the park. Young Ted often brought along a sketch pad to draw. This may account for the incredible variety of animals he later drew in his books. By the time Ted was an adult, his father had become Superintendent of the park.

Ted’s mother would sing her children to sleep with the rhythmic chant that she used to sell pies at the bakery: “Apple, mince, lemon… peach, apricot, pineapple… blueberry, coconut, custard and SQUASH!” Ted later said that his mother played an important role in developing his interest in rhythm, rhyme, and words.

Theodor Robert GeiselTed’s father worked at Forest Park in Springfield and took him on behind-the-scenes tours of the zoo.

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