'The Grinch' Producer and Dr. Seuss' Widow Audrey Geisel Dead at 97

Audrey Geisel, who was the widow of Dr. Seuss author Theodor Seuss Geisel and oversaw his legacy after his death, died Thursday at age 97.

Seuss Enterprises announced her death on its Facebook page, posting a drawing of The Cat in the Hat shedding a tear, and calling her the "beloved wife and ardent champion of Theodor Seuss Geisel and his legacy."

After her husband's death in 1991, Geisel had the final say in how the countless beloved Dr. Seuss characters were used. She had approval over live-action films based on his work, including Jim Carrey's How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Since Mike Myers' The Cat In The Hat failed in theaters, Geisel pulled the plug on all live-action adaptations. More recently, she has served as executive producers of animated films, including Horton Hears A Who, The Lorax and Universal's recently released The Grinch.

Geisel and Dr. Seuss married in 1968. According to Variety, they met in La Jolla, Califorina after Dr. Seuss' first wife, Helen, took her own life in 1967.

Two years after Dr. Seuss' death, Geisel founded Seuss Enterprises. She donated more than 4,000 items to UC San Diego, which established the Geisel Library with a $20 million donation from Geisel in 1995. In 1999, she designed the Dr. Seuss U.S. postage stamp to honor the author and helped get a sculpture garden dedicated to his works in Dr. Seuss' hometown Springfield, Massachusetts in 2002. Just last year, Geisel was involved in establishing The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in the city, notes MassLive.

"The number one request after the sculptures were installed was for a Dr. Seuss museum," Springfield Museums President and CEO Kay Simpson told MassLive. “Audrey Geisel was integral to the sculpture garden, stepping forward with a $1 million donation that kicked off a major fundraising effort for the project. And she was also in full support of creating The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, granting us permissions to use Dr. Seuss assets. Audrey helped make it all happen.”

Simpson continued, “She wanted to honor Ted’s Springfield roots. Audrey was a great friend to the museums and we are saddened by her passing.”

Geisel also allowed the publication of posthumous Dr. Suess material. In 2015, she allowed a group of unpublished manuscripts to be released as What Pet Should I Get?

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Geisel is survived by her two daughters from her first marriage. She and Dr. Suess did not have any children together.

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