Shel Silverstein

September 25, 1930 - May 10, 1999
Chicago, Illinois - Key West, Florida
author ~ poet ~ cartoonist ~ songwriter ~ playwright

     Shel Silverstein was born into a Jewish family in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois from which he was expelled. He worked in the U.S. army in Japan and Korea. His wife died before his only daughter- who also died at age 11- turned 5. He also had one son. Shel died at age 68.

     Shel started writing around age 13. Not knowing any famous poets he developed his own style of writing. Silverstein was best known for his iconic books and young reader's poems. His most famous book "The Giving Tree" is one of the most discussed children's books of all time. He won many awards for his poetry collections such as "Where the Sidewalk Ends".

Poet's Tree

Underneath the poet tree

Come and rest awhile with me,

And watch the way the word-web weaves

Between the shady story leaves.

The branches of the poet tree

Reach from the mountains to the sea.

So come and dream, or come and climb--

Just don't get hit by falling rhymes.