Shel Silverstein By Colton White Block. 8

The Life of Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 30th, 1930 and when he was 12 he started to show interest in the fine arts, especially music. After graduating from high school he went to study at the Art Institutes of Chicago. He then later dropped out of college and joined the army. He was stationed in Korea and Japan and while stationed his cartoons were posted in the Stars and Stripe magazine. After he left the military he came back to the states. He worked for Playboy magazine during the 50's and 60's and was also writing for magazines like Sports Illustrated and Look. He wrote novels such as "Take Ten" and "Grab Your Socks". In 1963 he wrote his first children's book, "Uncle Shelby's Story of Lafcadio: the Lion Who Shot Back”. He didn't have success as a writer until he wrote "The Giving Tree" which was a best seller. He then began a career as a poet which began with, "Where The Sidewalk Ends" which brought his first success in poetry, then in 1981 he wrote "The Light in the Attic" which made Silverstein an almost household name, after a stint of not much writing in the late 80's he made another poem collection "Falling Up" in 1996. Silverstein also wrote music, his most famous song being "A Boy Named Sue" that was preformed by Johnny Cash. He also wrote "One's on the Way" that was made famous by Loretta Lynn. He was married and had a kid with his wife but within the next 12 years both his wife and daughter passed. On May 10th, 1999 Silverstein had a heart attack at his home in Key West, Florida. He left behind many best selling poetry collections, books, and songs that he contributed that many may have heard growing up, including myself.

Works Cited

"Shel Silverstein Biography." The Famous People. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

"Shel Silverstein." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.


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