Audrey Geisel, who was Dr. Seuss’ widow and an executive producer on film adaptions of his books including the recent “The Grinch,” has died, ICM Partners announced in a statement on Friday. She was 97.
Geisel and Dr. Seuss — the pen name of Theodor Geisel — were married from 1968 to 1991, when he died at 87. Two years later, she founded Seuss Enterprises to license the use of the characters. She executive produced animated film adaptations of some of her husband’s most beloved children’s books, such as 2008’s “Horton Hears a Who!,” 2012’s “The Lorax,” and November’s “The Grinch.” In “The Lorax,” the character voiced by Taylor Swift was named after her.
Geisel is also often credited with influencing her husband to address social issues in his work, such as “The Lorax,” which concerns the environment, and “The Butter Battle Book,” which denounces war and nuclear weapons.
Born Audrey Stone in Chicago on Aug. 14, 1921, she grew up with her mother, but also spent time living with family friends and in foster care. She married E. Grey Dimond, a cardiologist, and they moved to La Jolla, California, where she met Theodor Geisel and his wife Helen, who took her own life in 1967. After their respective marriages ended, Theodor and Audrey wed in 1968.
Following her husband’s death, Geisel donated more than 4,000 items, including original drawings and manuscripts, college notebooks, letters, to the library at UC San Diego. The collection is housed in the Geisel Library, which came from a $20-million donation from Audrey Geisel in 1995.
She also discovered Seuss manuscripts that the author left behind in desk drawers and closets, which led to the publication of “What Pet Should I Get?” in 2015.
“I totally, wonderfully approve of anything that comes to light at this time of Ted’s work,” Geisel said in 2011.
She is survived by her two daughters from her first marriage. Services are pending.