Helen Palmer (maiden surname Helen Marion Palmer Geisel), ideal known together the an initial wife that children’s writer Dr. Seuss, was born ~ above 16th September 1898 in Brooklyn, brand-new York.

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Helen’s parents raised her in the Brooklyn community of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Together a kid, she dropped ill with polio yet managed to recover completely. Once she was 11, she father, George Howard Palmer, one ophthalmologist, happen away.


Just together her husband, Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel, Palmer to be an writer whose notable credits encompass A Fish out Of Water (1961), I to be Kissed by a Seal in ~ the Zoo (1962), Do You recognize What I’m Going to Do following Saturday? (1963), and also Why I constructed the Boogle House (1964).


Met Future Husband Dr. Seuss at Oxford University

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Helen Palmer had a profound affect on Dr. Seuss’s life and also career.Source: The Establishment


Palmer completed her graduation from Wellesley Colley in 1920. She then invested three years together an English teacher at girls High college in her hometown, prior to migrating come Britain through her mom to enroll in Oxford University.


During her time in ~ Oxford, Helen bumped into her future husband, Dr. Seuss, in a class. She ended up having a profound influence on his career. Palmer brought far-ranging change in Ted’s life, beginning with she idea the he ought to be an artist fairly than one English professor.

Later, Helen stated:


Ted’s notebooks were always filled through these fabulous animals. So I collection to work-related diverting him; below was a man who could draw such pictures; he must be earning a life doing that.

The couple took their relationship forward by exchanging wedding vows in the so late 1920s.

Married Dr. Seuss in 1927; never ever Shared any type of Children

Helen Palmer to be married to her husband, Dr. Seuss, for four decades from 1927 come 1967. However, their connection was anything but rainbows and also butterflies.


Took Her very own Life in 1967

Helen take it her own life in 1967—partly due to depression end chronic illness, but additionally because she had learned Ted was having an extramarital connection with their La Jolla neighbor and friend Audrey Dimond. /21 pic.twitter.com/FztHq6TSA7

— Brian Jay Jones (
brianjayjones) march 8, 2020

Helen was always wary that Dr. Seuss‘s extramarital affair. In fact, she suspicion clearly carried the legs because the author, adhering to Helen’s death, ended up marrying the exact same woman (neighbor) she was skeptical of.


To do matters worse, Palmer had actually a Guillain-Barre condition and also had to be battling partial paralysis for more than ten years. Her ever declining health led her to end up being so distraught that she took her very own life in 1967 with an overdose that barbiturates.

Left a Heartbreaking suicide Note

Wife's suicide note to husband the 13 years, after learning his affair. The husband's name? Dr. Seuss pic.twitter.com/KI27SfsMl8

— Anathema (

Helem Palmer committed suicide in October 1967 at the period of 68. She had actually left a sucide keep in mind for she husband before taking her final breath. Her keep in mind read:

Dear Ted, What has actually happened to us? i don’t know. Ns feel myself in a spiral, going under down down, into a black hole indigenous which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side i hear, ‘failure, failure, failure…’ i love friend so much …

The writer continued, “I am too old and enmeshed in whatever you do and are, that i cannot develop of life there is no you. Mine going will leave rather a rumor, but you can say ns was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed.”


The couple never shared any kind of children because Helen to be unable to bear kids.

How did Dr. Seuss react to His Wife’s Death?

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Dr. Seuss never shared any type of biological children with his first wife, Helen Palmer, nor his 2nd spouse Audrey Geisel.Source: renowned Biographies

Ted reaction to Helen’s death the way you can imagine. He was conflicted about whether to take his very own life, damage the house, or gain lost somewhere. In the meantime, Ted’s niece Peggy claimed, “Whatever Helen did, she go it out of pure love because that Ted.”


Likewise, Secretary Julie Olfe commented adhering to Palmer’s death and also called it “her last and also largest gift to him (Dr. Seuss).”

Merely a year ~ Helen’s suicide, Dr. Suess exchanged vows with his second wife, Audrey Geisel. Incidentally, their love affair started while both were married and also they ultimately cheated ~ above their corresponding spouses. The couple remained together for 23 years before Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991 in ~ the period of 87 due to dental cancer.


Helen Palmer and also Dr. Seuss enjoyed a Successful expert Life

When Ted started writing children’s books in 1936, Helen became his most trusted first reader, editor, and also advisor. She had a great ear because that rhythm and rhyme (she could call him out on clunkers), was an intuitive storyteller, and also a stickler for character. /18 pic.twitter.com/g4InZ3YF6C

— Brian Jay Jones (
brianjayjones) in march 8, 2020

Ted served in Hollywood following civilization War II prolonging his propaganda films into basic movies. RKO recruited him to adapt Your job in Japan into a army training film the released in 1945. He carried his wife Helen on as a companion, and also the two mutual the composing credit.


Two years later, the couple worked in the documentary movie Design because that Death (1947) the won the Academy Award for the best documentary feature in the very same year.

Ted invested over a decade after world War II to offer the thriving publication market for kids, producing a vast array the titles. Throughout this period, that depended heavily on the support and also editorial insight of Helen. As a matter of fact, the relied on her guidance for most of his life.


Helen Palmer’s finest Works

It was only Helen, because that instance, who can tell Dr. Seuss, as he struggled v the art in GRINCH, the he was making the whos look too lot like bugs.

“Well, they room bugs,” stated Ted.

“They space NOT,” she told him. “They’re just tiny people.”

Back come the drawing board. /19 pic.twitter.com/JaEoELDAwe

— Brian Jay Jones (
brianjayjones) march 8, 2020

Helen Palmer is perhaps best known because that the 1963 children’s book Do You know What I’m Going to Do following Saturday?, released by beginning of the person Books. Unlike many of the starting person Books, this did not take on the layout of text and inline illustrations; instead, that was depicted by black-and-white photos native Lynn Fayman, showcasing a child referred to as Rawli Davis.


The author’s other significant titles include I to be Kissed by a Seal at the Zoo (1962) and Why I constructed the Boogle House (1964). The photographs in the former book were snapped at the mountain Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, mountain Diego, California. Impressively, it featured students from mountain Diego’s Francis Parker School, engaging through animals and also workers in the zoo.

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Dr. Seuss created a short story Gustav the Goldfish, which was later on transformed into the 1961 children’s publication A Fish out of Water through Helen Palmer, through illustrations perform by P. D. Eastman.