Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein

Celebrity Profile

Name: Shel Silverstein
Occupation: Children's Author
Gender: Male
Height: 180 cm (5' 11'')
Birth Day: September 25, 1930
Death Date: May 10, 1999 (age 68)
Age: Aged 68
Birth Place: Chicago, United States
Zodiac Sign: Libra

Social Accounts

Height: 180 cm (5' 11'')
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
Tattoo(s) N/A

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein was born on September 25, 1930 in Chicago, United States (68 years old). Shel Silverstein is a Children's Author, zodiac sign: Libra. Find out Shel Silversteinnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.

Brief Info

Known as Uncle Shelby for his children's books, such as Where the Sidewalk Ends. He wrote A Boy Named Sue, which Johnny Cash popularized.


His comedy songs gained a huge following courtesy of Dr. Demento's radio show.

Does Shel Silverstein Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Shel Silverstein died on May 10, 1999 (age 68).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020

$20 Million

Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He had to leave the University of Illinois because of a bad academic record.

Biography Timeline


He was first published in the Roosevelt Torch, a student newspaper at Roosevelt University, where he studied English after leaving the Art Institute. During his time in the military, his cartoons were published in Pacific Stars and Stripes, where he had originally been assigned to do layouts and paste-up. His first book, Take Ten, a compilation of his military Take Ten cartoon series, was published by Pacific Stars and Stripes in 1955. He later said his time in college was a waste and would have been better spent traveling around the world meeting people.


Mass-market paperback readers across America were introduced to Silverstein in 1956 when Take Ten was reprinted by Ballantine Books as Grab Your Socks! The edition included a foreword by Bill Mauldin.


In 1957, Silverstein became one of the leading cartoonists in Playboy, which sent him around the world to create an illustrated travel journal with reports from far-flung locales. During the 1950s and 1960s, he produced 23 installments called "Shel Silverstein Visits..." as a feature for Playboy. Employing a sketchbook format with typewriter-styled captions, he documented his own experiences at such locations as a New Jersey naturist community, the Chicago White Sox training camp, San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, Fire Island, Mexico, London, Paris, Spain and Africa. In a Swiss village, he drew himself complaining, "I'll give them 15 more minutes, and if nobody yodels, I'm going back to the hotel." These illustrated travel essays were collected by the publisher Fireside in Playboy's Silverstein Around the World, published in 2007 with a foreword by Hugh Hefner and an introduction by music journalist Mitch Myers.


In January 1959, Look, Charlie: A Short History of the Pratfall was a chaotic off-Broadway comedy staged by Silverstein, Jean Shepherd and Herb Gardner at New York's Orpheum Theatre on Second Avenue in the Lower East Side. Silverstein went on to write more than 100 one-act plays. The Devil and Billy Markham, published in Playboy in 1979, was later adapted into a solo one-act play that debuted on a double bill with Mamet's Bobby Gould in Hell (1989) with Dr. Hook vocalist Dennis Locorriere narrating. Karen Kohlhaas directed An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, produced by New York's Atlantic Theater Company in September 2001 with a variety of short sketches:

A production of An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein was produced by a Hofstra University theater group called The Spectrum Players, which was founded by Francis Ford Coppola in 1959. The production used a "victorian sailors on shore leave watching a play" aesthetic and used live rag-time and an MC character not in the script to transition between pieces. The production was directed by Richard Traub of Chicago and starred several of Hofstra's most promising young actors: Nick Pacifico, Amanda Mac, Mike Quattrone, Ross Greenberg, Chelsea Lando, Allie Rightmeyer, and Paolo Perez as the MC.


His best-known cartoon of the 1950s was featured on the cover of his next cartoon collection, Now Here's My Plan: A Book of Futilities, which was published by Simon & Schuster in 1960. Silverstein biographer Lisa Rogak wrote:


Silverstein studied briefly at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. His musical output included a large catalog of songs; a number of them were hits for other artists, most notably the rock group Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show. He wrote Tompall Glaser's highest-charting solo single, "Put Another Log on the Fire", "One's on the Way" and "Hey Loretta" (both hits for Loretta Lynn, in 1971 and 1973 respectively), and "25 Minutes to Go", sung by Johnny Cash, about a man on Death Row with each line counting down one minute closer. Silverstein also wrote one of Johnny Cash's best known hits, "A Boy Named Sue" as well as "The Unicorn", first recorded by Silverstein himself in 1962 but better known in its version by The Irish Rovers. Other songs co-written by Silverstein include "The Taker" written with Kris Kristofferson and recorded by Waylon Jennings, and a sequel to "A Boy Named Sue" called "Father of a Boy Named Sue", which is less known, but he performed the song on television on The Johnny Cash Show. He also penned a song entitled "F**k 'em" which is lesser known and contained a reference to "f**k kids."


Silverstein co-wrote the screenplay for Things Change with David Mamet. He also wrote several stories for the TV movie Free to Be... You and Me. Silverstein wrote and narrated an animated short of The Giving Tree, first produced in 1973; a remake based on Silverstein's original screenplay but without his narration was released in 2015 by director Brian Brose. Other credits include the shorts De boom die gaf (based on his novel) and Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back.


Silverstein's editor at Harper & Row, Ursula Nordstrom, encouraged Silverstein to write children's poetry. Silverstein said that he had never studied the poetry of others and had therefore developed his own quirky style, laid back and conversational, occasionally employing profanity and slang. In a 1975 Publishers Weekly interview, he was asked how he came to do children's books:

Silverstein's "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan", first recorded by Dr. Hook in 1975, was re-recorded by Marianne Faithfull (1979), Belinda Carlisle (1996), and Bobby Bare (2005) and later featured in the films Montenegro and Thelma & Louise. "Queen of the Silver Dollar" was first recorded by Dr. Hook on their 1972 album Sloppy Seconds, and later by Doyle Holly (on his 1973 album Doyle Holly), Barbi Benton (on her 1974 album Barbi Doll), Emmylou Harris (on her 1975 album Pieces of the Sky) and Dave & Sugar (on their 1976 album Dave & Sugar).

He had one daughter, Shoshanna Jordan Hastings, born June 30, 1970, with Susan Taylor Hastings of Sausalito, California, whom he reportedly met at the Playboy Mansion. Susan died on June 29, 1975, one day before Shoshanna's fifth birthday, and Shoshanna went to live with her uncle and aunt in their Baltimore home. Shoshanna died April 24, 1982, at age 11, of a cerebral aneurysm. The book A Light in the Attic is dedicated to her.


Together with longtime friend and producer Ron Haffkine, he released "Where the Sidewalk Ends" on cassette in 1983, and as an LP phonograph record in 1984, winning the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Recording For Children.


On May 10, 1999, Silverstein died at age 68 of a heart attack in Key West, Florida and was subsequently buried in Westlawn Cemetery in Norridge, Illinois.


In December 2001, Shel's Shorts was produced in repertory as two separate evenings under the titles Signs of Trouble and Shel Shocked by the Market Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Signs of Trouble was directed by Wesley Savick, and Shel Shocked was directed by Larry Coen.


He was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. Silverstein was inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame in 2014.


In 2010, Bobby Bare and his son Bobby Bare Jr produced a CD called Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein which was released on Sugar Hill Records. Other artists recording Silverstein songs include the Brothers Four, Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket and Bobby Bare, Jr.


On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Shel Silverstein among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Family Life

Shel had a daughter named Shoshanna with Susan Hastings and a son named Matthew with Sarah Spencer.

Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Shoshanna Jordan Hastings Children N/A N/A N/A
#2 Matthew Silverstein Children N/A N/A N/A

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Shel Silverstein is 92 years, 6 months and 4 days old. Shel Silverstein will celebrate 93rd birthday on a Monday 25th of September 2023. Below we countdown to Shel Silverstein upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

87th birthday - Monday, September 25, 2017

Happy 87th Birthday Shel Silverstein

Today is the 87th birthday of the poet Shel Silverstein. He has played an important role in a lot of children’s lives. His books and poems have given children a voice. The world is a better p…

Shel Silverstein 87th birthday timeline
86th birthday - Sunday, September 25, 2016

Happy 86th Birthday Shel Silverstein

Today is the 86th birthday of the poet Shel Silverstein. He has played an important role in a lot of children’s lives. His books and poems have given children a voice. The world is a better p…

Shel Silverstein 86th birthday timeline
82nd birthday - Tuesday, September 25, 2012

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