Theodore's father owned a greenhouse that was 25 acres that he spent his childhood in. The greenhouse reflected some of his work in poetry. When he was fourteen Theodore's father died of cancer and his uncle took his own life. These two events that happened in his life impacted him and changed his work. Theodore earned his M.A. and B.A. at the University of Michigan. He also attended Harvard after going to law school. Later in college he started having manic depression which effect his poetry.