Shel Silverstein Cyle Fenton Block:6

Childhood & Early Life

Shel Silverstein was born on September 25, 1930 in Chicago. Shel began to draw when he was twelve years old. He graduated in 1948 from Roosevelt High School. After graduated he went to Chicago Academy of Fine Art. (Known today as Art Institute of Chicago). He then went to Roosevelt University but he never finished because he dropped out and joined the army. He has been stationed in Japan and Korea. Silverstein tied the knot with Susan Hastings. The couple was blessed with a daughter named Shoshanna, on June 30, 1970. However, five years later, Susan Hastings passed away on June 29, 1975 in Baltimore, Maryland. At a tender age of eleven, Shoshanna too died in Baltimore on April 24, 1982 due to cerebral aneurysm. Silverstein, though never married again, had a son named Matthew with a woman named Sarah Spencer. Matthew was born in 1983.


Silverstein's poetry for children is often silly, humorous, and a little strange. Sometime's his poems were sometime morbid. People have said that his writing style is sometimes just like Dr. Suess. Shel has sold more than 20 million copies of his books. He has also write his books in twenty different languages.


Musical Works

As the 1960s ended here came the 1970s Silverstein would ramp up his career with "A Boy Named Sue" made popular by Johnny Cash. But, is most famous work wasn't writing music it was writing poems and by 1970 he wrote his first book of poetry called "Where the Sidewalk Ends." Silverstein continued to create plays, songs, poems, stories and drawings even in his last years. He died in Key West, Florida on May 9, 1999 due to heart failure.

Awards & Honors

Won a Grammy Award for "A Boy Named Sue" in 1970

Nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his song "I'm Checkin' Out", in the film “Postcards from the Edge”

Posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002

Videos of the Poems

Sources Editors. "Shel Silverstein Biography." The website. A&E Television Network, 02 April 2014. December 2016.

"Shel Silverstein Facts." Your Dictionary. March 3rd 1999.

"Shel Silverstein Biography." The Famous People.


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