Shel Silverstein

Birth Name: Sheldon Allan Silverstein

Date of Birth: September 25, 1930

Place of Birth: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States

Date of Death: May 10, 1999

Place of Death: Key West, Florida, U.S.

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Shel Silverstein was an American writer, poet, cartoonist, singer, songwriter, musician, and playwright. He is known for his books “The Giving Tree,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “A Light in the Attic,” and “Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book.” He wrote the Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue.”

Sheldon was born in Chicago, the son of Helen and Nathan Kushvatsky/Silverstein. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant. His mother was born in Illinois, to Hungarian Jewish parents. He served in the U.S. Army in Japan and Korea. He had two children.

Shel’s paternal grandmother was named Fannie Silverstein.

Shel’s maternal grandfather was Sigmund/Sigmond Balkany (the son of Jakob Farkas Balkányi and Maria Kohn). Sigmund was born in Kisvárda, Kisvárdai, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, Hungary.

Shel’s maternal grandmother was named Rosie/Rae Goldberg.

Sources: Genealogy of Shel Silverstein –

Shel’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census –

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