Theodor Seuss Geisel decided to pursue cartooning full-time upon returning to the U.S. in 1927 after getting married and dropping out of Oxford University in England. His articles and illustrations were published in numerous magazines, including LIFE and Vanity Fair. A cartoon that he published in the July 1927 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, his first using the pen name “Seuss,” landed him a staff position at the New York weekly Judge.
Geisel then worked for Standard Oil in the advertising department, where he spent the next 15 years. His ad for Flit, a common insecticide, became nationally famous.Around this time, Viking Press offered Geisel a contract to illustrate a children’s book collection.