Dr. Seuss based You’re Only Old Once! (1986) on his own illnesses—which were “a series of everything.” For months he sat in waiting rooms sketching hospital machinery & what he thought would happen to him. While the book lamented the infirmities of age & the indignities of the health-care system, his own fierce determination to live demanded he give it a happy ending. By 1987 it sold 1 million copies.

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