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.
He had to leave the University of Illinois because of a bad academic record.
His comedy songs gained a huge following courtesy of Dr. Demento's radio show.
He had a daughter named Shoshanna with Susan Hastings and a son named Matthew with Sarah Spencer.
He wrote children's poems for the magazine Playboy created by Hugh Hefner.