Shel Silverstein biography :
Sheldon Allan Silverstein was born on 25 September
1932 in the windy city of Chicago, Illinois. Although he is known to
be a writer of children’s literature, he is also a cartoonist,
lyricist, composer and folksinger.
More commonly known as Shel Silverstein, this American poet started
writing when he was just a young boy. Instead of playing baseball or
watching girls, he spent most of his time writing. Since he was
unfamiliar with the writing styles of any of the great poets, he was
able to develop his own unique method.
It is quite ironic that Silverstein started his illustrious career in
1952 by writing and drawing cartoons for an adult magazine. He became
part of the US military forces and further developed his talent as a
cartoonist by contributing regularly to the military newsletter,
Pacific Stars and Stripes. Not much was heard of Shel Silverstein from
the years that followed until he emerged again in the 70’s. In 1970,
he composed music for the films Ned Kelly, Who is Harry Kellerman, and
Why Is He Saying Such Terrible Things About Me.
He began writing and drawing for children at the suggestion of Ursula
Nordstrom. The Giving Tree, one of his earliest and most successful
books was initially rejected by editor William Cole because its
content was neither for an adult nor for children. They were, however,
able to reach a compromise. The book was published, and the rest shall
we say, is history.
Some of Silverstein’s literary works include Falling Up (1996), A
Light in the Attic (1981). He wrote songs for Dr Hook, and composed
music for the 1990 Meryl Streep film, which was loosely based on
Carrie Fisher’s life, Postcards from the Edge.
Shel Silverstein died of a massive heart attack on 10 May 1999 at the
age of 66.