Highly esteemed science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, passed away on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
He was 91 years old.
His most celebrated works were “The Illustrated Man”, “Fahrenheit 451″ and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”.
I first read Bradbury because Fahrenheit 451 was a requisite in high school. This was one of the first books that I read where I remember thinking, “Why are we reading this? This is really good.” I think I even started using the school library, but don’t tell anyone. I will loose my street cred.
As if his literary career was not impressive enough, I was blown away when I looked into his film and television career. Check out his IMDb page. Amazing. When did he sleep? How did he make it to 91 under such a workload?
Looking at his over his life it’s easy to see how he lived such a remarkable life.
Bradbury wrote every day. He credited two things for being behind this habit. First, was seeing Lon Chaney in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The second, mentioned above, was the carnival magician, Mr. Electrico.
Though he never attended college, Bradbury was self-educated. In Jennifer Steinhauer’s article “A Literary Legend Fights for a Local Library”, Bradbury said:
“Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”
It was in a library, UCLA’s Powell Library, that Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451.
Ray Bradbury married Marguerite McClure in 1947, and remained together until 2003 when Marguerite died. People are not nearly as frivolous with their marriages as the tabloids would have us think, but the Bradburys marriage is quite impressive.
Bradbury had numerous awards and honors. Among them:
- The Ray Bradbury Award for screenwriting was named after him.
- An impact crater on the moon is named “Dandelion Crater” in honor of his novel Dandelion Wine
- Asteriod 9766 Bradbury is named in his honor
- A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (6644 Hollywood Blvd.)
- The special citation from The Pulitzer Board was “for his distinguished, prolific, and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.”
It is sad to know you are no longer with us, Mr. Bradbury. At the same time, because you gave us so much, please enjoy your much deserved rest. Thank you for all the wonderful stories.