Author of classics like “The Giving Tree” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” Shel Silverstein is a household name among young readers. Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book, a satirical alphabet book, was also written by him.
Shel Silverstein Early Life and Education
Shel Silverstein entered the world on September 25, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois, to a family of Jewish descent. He attended Roosevelt and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a short time before being kicked out.
Silverstein went on to study at Roosevelt University and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He was drafted into the US Army while still a student and spent time serving in Japan and Korea. Some of Silverstein’s military cartoons appeared in issues of Pacific Stars and Stripes.
Happy birthday, Shel Silverstein pic.twitter.com/BCR3jKgvzm
— Penguin India (@PenguinIndia) September 25, 2015
Shel Silverstein Career Beginnings
Upon his return to Chicago after military service, Silverstein began selling hot dogs at baseball stadiums and submitting his cartoons to periodicals. The likes of Sports Illustrated and This Week began publishing his drawings quickly after. Grab Your Socks!, Silverstein’s anthology, was released in paperback in 1956.
He gained prominence as a cartoonist the following year, when Playboy magazine sent him on assignment all around the world to create an illustrated travelogue. Because of this, “Shel Silverstein Visits…” became a Playboy feature with 23 issues published in the ’50s and ’60s.
Shel Silverstein Net Worth
As at the time of his passing, the American writer, humorist, cartoonist, composer, musician, and playwright Shel Silverstein had amassed a fortune of $20.
Shel Silverstein Books
In the 1960s, Silverstein enjoyed his greatest success. He began the decade with the publications of the cartoon collection Now Here’s My Plan and the satirical alphabet book Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book. The first of his children’s books, “Uncle Shelby’s Story of Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back,” came out in 1963.
In 1964, Silverstein published four novels, the most well-known of which being “The Giving Tree,” a controversial story about a boy and an apple tree. Another book by Silverstein published that year was “Don’t Bump the Glump!,” his first collection of poetry and the only one of his books to use full-color images.
Where the Sidewalk Ends, a collection of poetry for children, was published by Silverstein in 1974. It was followed by another children’s picture book, “The Missing Piece,” which was published two years later. Silverstein’s “Different Dances” was published as 2010’s final album. His next book, “A Light in the Attic,” a collection of poetry published in 1981, was also a huge success.
The 1996 book “Falling Up,” written and released by Silverstein in his later years, was his third and final poetry anthology. In addition to “Runny Babbit,” published in 2005, “Every Thing On It,” released in 2011, and “Runny Babbit Returns,” published in 2017, were all written and published after the author’s death.
Shel Silverstein Personal Life and Death
In the years between 1967 and 1975, Silverstein called a houseboat in Sausalito, home. He also had abodes in Greenwich Village in New York City, Key West in Florida, and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Silverstein never tied the knot, although he was said to be a serial philanderer and a regular at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy establishments. He met his future wife, Susan Hastings, at the Playboy Mansion, and they had a daughter, Shoshanna, in 1970. Both Hastings and Shoshanna were killed; Hastings in 1975 and Shoshanna in 1982 due to an aneurysm. Silverstein began a relationship with Sarah Spencer and the two had a son, Matthew, in 1984.
Silverstein passed away in Key West following a heart attack in May of 1999. He lived to be 68 years old.
Shel Silverstein Music Career
In his capacity as a musician and songwriter, Silverstein produced a wide variety of songs, several of which went on to become hits for other musicians. Songs like “Put Another Log on the Fire” by Tompall Glaser, “One’s on the Way” and “Hey Loretta” by Loretta Lynn, “The Unicorn” by the Irish Rovers, and “25 Minutes to Go” and “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash were played. When it peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, the later song became Silverstein and Cash’s biggest commercial success to date.
One of Silverstein’s longest and most fruitful partnerships was with the rock group Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. Song titles like “Sylvia’s Mother,” “The Things I Didn’t Say,” and “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” may all be traced back to his pen.
Bobby Bare has sang several songs written by Silverstein, including “The Mermaid” and “Tequila Sheila.” A wide range of musicians, from Judy Collins and Waylon Jennings to Pat Dailey and Peter, Paul, and Mary, have covered songs he wrote.
The scores for the 1970s films “Ned Kelly” and “Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying These Terrible Things About Me?” was also composed by Silverstein. Later on, he composed the score for the 1990 film “Postcards from the Edge,” which included the Oscar-nominated song “I’m Checkin’ Out.” You can go to TheActiveNews.Com for the latest news and updates.