Did you know that before Dr. Seuss became popular for writing children’s books, he worked as an illustrator of racist cartoons? Theordor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) was the chief editorial cartoonist for the New York Newspaper PM from 1940 to 1948. During his time at the New York newspaper he spun out roughly 400 cartoons, among them were cartoons that praised FDR’s policies, chided isolationists like Charles Lindberg and supported civil rights for blacks and Jews. He also drew many cartoons that, to today’s eyes, are undeniably racist.
One of his works was up for auction in May, 2015. According to theroot.com, in a 1929 illustration for Judge Magazine, he depicted #black people for sale with a racist sign in the image’s background. “Take home a high-grade n-gger for your woodpile. Satisfaction guaranteed,” reads the heading.
The illustration went to auction with a minimum bid of $20,000 in California at Nate D. Sanders Inc. The drawing was one part of the four-part panel drawing Cross Section of the World’s Most Prosperous Department Store. This artwork was not the first time the author came under criticism for creating offensive caricatures. His World War II depictions of Japanese people drew criticism for their portrayal of stereotypical physical features and behaviors.