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Shel Silverstein Biography – Life of a Multi-Talented Artist

Shel Silverstein became a popular children’s poet, despite his stint with adult cartoon drawing. The poet loved to be close to nature and preferred to spend time in the rural areas.

Shel Silverstein BiographyPHOTO BY FLICKR.COM/SLOANRO

Shel Silverstein Biography - Versatile Talented Poet and Artist

Sheldon Allan Silverstein aka Shel Silverstein was born on Septermber 25, 1930 in Chicago. He started drawing at the age of 12, and became famous for his versatile creative talent in poetry and art, and he wrote for both the kids and adults in his prolific career. His irreverent and somewhat quirky children’s books and poems have often hogged headlines and they have sold in huge numbers in various countries. He was hired by Hugh Hefner way back in the 1950s as a resident poet and cartoonist for the erotic magazine Playboy. He earned fame while working for the famous magazine but also wrote a number of memorable songs and poems which are an integral part of Shel Silverstein biography. "The Cover of the Rolling Stone", released in 1972, was a big hit and it catapulted him to limelight. "I'm Checkin' Out”, a song picturised on actress Meryl Streep in ‘Postcards From the Edge’, got him an Oscar nomination in 1991. While many people know him as a talented cartoonist and poet, Shel Silverstein has also donned the hats of a songwriter and playwright. Shel Silverstein biography cannot be complete without mentioning his all time favorite book, "A Light in the Attic."

Shel Silverstein Poetry - Not the Usual Stuff

Shel Silverstein was an artist who preferred to say little about himself. Strange as it may sound to those who like Shel Silverstein poetry, he did not want to become a children’s poet. His poems for kids have been translated to 30 languages worldwide. He shot to Children’s writing segment with "The Giving Tree" in the year 1964. This parable about a tree and a boy remains one of his bestsellers till date. The first collection of Shel Silverstein poetry, named "Where the Sidewalk Ends" got published in 1974 and enjoyed huge success. However, "A Light in the Attic" released in 1981 became extremely popular and stayed on the top of bestsellers lists for several months. In many schools his poems are used as the introduction to poetry for the kids. "Where the Sidewalk Ends" was also recorded as a song by the artist, which fetched him a Grammy Award in 1984 in the Best Children’s Album category.

Shel Silverstein Books - Bestseller Over Years

Shel Silverstein passed away in 1999 and before his demise he was actively involved in composing stories, poems, songs and plays. Shel Silverstein books remain a favorite in Children’s fiction years after his death. Recently, HarperCollins Children's Books declared that it would release a special collection of Shel Silverstein poems and illustrations. The collection is yet to be named and it was not published earlier. The first published book of Shel Silverstein after his demise is "Runny Babbit", which had hit the stores in 2005. The new collection which is going to be published soon will have about 120 or 130 poems.The prolific poet died on May 10, 1999 at his Florida home, due to heart attack.

Written by Katherine Murphy

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