Jed Mattes, a prominent New York literary agent, began his career at International Creative Management, where he worked for Theodore Geisel's long time agent Phyllis Jackson. After Jackson's death in 1977, Mattes took over Geisel's representation.
Mattes understood and championed Geisel's desire to protect the integrity of his work and shielded him from the overwhelming number of proposals that sought to exploit Dr. Seuss and the Dr. Seuss world. Over the next twelve years, Mattes made many trips to Geisel's hilltop home in La Jolla to talk over business. Mattes recalled that "Ted would wade through hundreds of proposals for the use of his creations. These were almost always inferior ideas, but also almost always very lucrative -- and, for most mortals, extremely tempting. His attitude to all but a rare few was to "just say no."
Speaking at Geisel's funeral, Mattes considered the nature of his close personal relationship to his client. He said " To understand my perspective you need to know that when I began representing Ted I was twenty four. I found that, for me, a person grows up in young adulthood in ways that are at least as important as in adolesence. So, Dr. Seuss led me through my childhood into an adulthood that gave me Ted Geisel as my quiet mentor. Ted was a man who was fun, and he gave even us 'obsolete children' permission to be silly."
Jed Mattes, Inc.
[SEUSS, Dr. (Pseudonym of Theodore GEISEL, 1904-1991), illustrator]. ABINGTON, Alexander. Boners. Being a Collection of Schoolboy Wisdom, or Knowledge as It Is Sometimes Written, Compiled from Classrooms and Examination Papers by Alexander Abingdon, and Illustrated by Dr. Seuss. New York: The Viking Press, 1931.
Small square 8o. Black-and-white illustrations by Seuss. Original cloth.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING OF SEUSS'S FIRST BOOK. PRESENTATION COPY, WITTILY INSCRIBED BY SEUSS TO JED MATTES. Beneath the signature of a previous owner, Grace A. Wood, Seuss writes: "and Dr. Seuss never having met, but each having reverence for the Integrity of Jed Mattes, donate this volume to his Eternal Memory." Younger and Hirsch 5.
[With:] ABINGTON, Alexander. More Boners. Compiled from Classrooms and Examination Papers by Alexander Abington. Illustrated by Dr. Seuss. New York: The Viking Press, 1931.
Small square 8o. Original cloth; printed dust jacket (faded, some splits along joints).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING OF SEUSS'S SECOND BOOK. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY SEUSS TO JED MATTES on the verso of the front free endpaper: "for Jed (who unfortunately did not represent me when I signed the contract on this one.) [paraph] Dr. Seuss 1986." Younger and Hirsch 55.