Ray Bradbury, by many estimations the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream, passed away on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91.
Raymond Douglas Bradbury was born Aug. 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois. As a child, he read the tales of the Brothers Grimm and the Oz stories of L. Frank Baum, and collected the comic-strip adventures of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. In 1934, Ray’s family moved to Los Angeles, where he go to know writers at the Los Angeles chapter of the Science Fiction League.
Mr. Bradbury started his literary career as the self-publisher of the fanzine “Futuria Fantasia” when he was 18. In 1947 the short story “Homecoming,” earned him an O. Henry Award as one of the best American short stories of the year.
With 26 other stories, “Homecoming” appeared in Mr. Bradbury’s first book, “Dark Carnival,” in 1947. From 1946 to 1950, Ray Bradbury produced most of the stories later collected in “The Martian Chronicles” and “The Illustrated Man” and the novella that formed the basis of “Fahrenheit 451.”
“Fahrenheit 451” is perhaps his most successful book. It portrays a book-burning America of the near future, its central character a so-called fireman, whose job is to light the bonfires. François Truffaut adapted the book for a movie in 1966 starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie.
In his career, Bradbury wrote more than 30 books, hundreds of short stories, plus poetry, plays and books for children. He is credited as a writer on dozens of movie and television projects and worked with John Huston on the screenplay of the 1956 film version of “Moby Dick.”
Bradbury received numerous awards, including a National Medal of Arts, a special citation from the Pulitzer board, a medal for distinguished contribution to American letters from the National Book Foundation and an Emmy. He is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A crater on the moon was named for one of his works and an asteroid is named in his honor.