Shel Silverstein (September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999) was one of America's most well-known children's authors. However, he did much more than that. He was also an accomplished illustrator, songwriter, and more.
Sheldon Allan Silverstein was born in Chicago, Illinois, and showed an interest in drawing and writing at a very young age. He honed his talents and became a published cartoonist during the 1950s in the military newspaper Pacific Stars and Stripes. Not long after that, he began writing songs. He is most famous for penning Johnny Cash's hit song "A Boy Named Sue," which earned Silverstein a Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1969.
In the beginning, Silverstein mainly catered his work toward adult audiences, thinking he wasn't cut out for children's literature. However, this changed in 1963 when his friend Tomi Ungerer convinced him to give it a try. The Giving Tree came soon after, as well as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and more. As they say, the rest is history...