Audrey Geisel, widow of Theodor Seuss Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, died at the age of 97 at her home in La Jolla, California this past December. And we hated writing that sentence — not only because we’re sad that Audrey died but her life is by no means encapsulated by being the widow of Dr. Seuss. No, Audrey Geisel was, as Dartmouth College professor Donald Pease is quoted in “The Dartmouth,” “A muse, a promoter and a very, very savvy entrepreneur who recognized [that Theodor Geisel] needed a foundation … in order for Dr. Seuss to remain the vital inspirational force he continues to be.” And boy did she succeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.
Dartmouth’s Role in the Seussian Legacy
Audrey Geisel was the keeper of the Seussian legacy — and so much of that legacy was shaped by her and her late husband’s longstanding relationship with Dartmouth College, the College on the Hill, a school Dr. Seuss attended as a member of the Class of 1925. As we’ve previously noted, it was through Dartmouth College that Audrey came to know Chris Meledandri of Dartmouth’s Class of 1981. Meledandri, the president and CEO of the prolific Illumination Entertainment, would bring so many of Dr. Seuss’ works to life as animated films in the year’s since the author’s death — all under the watchful eye of Audrey who was always mindful of the Seussian legacy.
Dartmouth Pays Tribute to Audrey Geisel, Keeper of the Seussian Legacy
As Dartmouth’s venerable former president Jim Wright said to “The Dartmouth,” “‘I think her legacy is the protection and enhancement of Dr. Seuss’s own cultural, literary and intellectual legacy. I think there likely will never be anyone else running that enterprise [who] can be as tough-minded, as pleasant and as deeply emotionally committed to the Seussian legacy as Audrey was.'” It’s a legacy that will live on. It will live on in countless books, movies, and shows. It will live on through the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. It will live on in countless bedtime readings across the world. It will live on as Dartmouth students eat green eggs and ham during their first-year DOC trips.
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