Died June 5, 2012. Born August 22, 1920.
American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated among 20th century American writers of speculative fiction. Many of Bradbury's works have been adapted into television shows or films.
Ray Bradbury was free to start a career in writing when, owing to his bad eyesight, he was rejected admission into the military during World War II. Having been inspired by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines in 1938. Bradbury was invited by Forrest J Ackerman to attend the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, which at the time met at Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. This was where he met the writers Robert A. Heinlein, Emil Petaja, Fredric Brown, Henry Kuttner, Leigh Brackett, and Jack Williamson. His first published story was "Hollerbochen's Dilemma", which appeared in the fanzine Imagination! in January, 1938. Launching his own fanzine in 1939, titled Futuria Fantasia, he wrote most of its four issues, each limited to under 100 copies. Between 1941 and 1947, he was a contributor to Rob Wagner's film magazine, Script.
Bradbury's first paid piece, "Pendulum", written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories in November 1941, for which he earned $15. He became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947 by Arkham House, a small press in Sauk City, Wis., owned by writer August Derleth.
A chance encounter in a Los Angeles bookstore with the British expatriate writer Christopher Isherwood gave Bradbury the opportunity to put The Martian Chronicles into the hands of a respected critic. Isherwood's glowing review followed. Besides his fiction work, Bradbury wrote many short essays on the arts and culture, attracting the attention of critics in this field. Bradbury also hosted "The Ray Bradbury Theater" which was based on his short stories. Bradbury was a consultant for the American Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair and the original exhibit housed in Epcot's Spaceship Earth geosphere at Walt Disney World. In the 1980s, he concentrated on detective fiction.
Bradbury chose a burial place at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery and a headstone that reads "Author of Fahrenheit 451".