Sir Arthur Charles Clarke was born on December 16, 1917 in Minehead, Somerset, England. His father was a farmer. Clarke studied at the prestigious King’s College in London and before turning into a science fiction writer, Clarke worked in scientific research.
During the course of World War II, Arthur Clarke served as a radar instructor. He was the first person to come up with the idea of satellite communication and he presented the idea long before it actually became a reality. Also to his credit is the prediction of super fast computers and space shuttles in addition to man reaching the moon and communication as quick as lightening.
Having authored more than 100 books, Clarke’s themed mostly revolved around explorations in the near and distant future. Some of his most widely read books include Prelude to Space (1951), which was also his first, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Rendezvous with Rama (1973) and The Fountains of Paradise (1979). A Space Odyssey by far remains his most famous work. The books also turned into a very successful film directed by Stanley Kubrick. Clarke also produced sequels of A Space Odyssey. These sequels are 2010: Space Odyssey II, published in 1982 and released as a film in 1984, 2062: Odyssey III, published in 1988 and the last of the series 3001: The Final Odyssey, published in 1997. Some of his later publications include The Garden of Rama (1991) and The Snows of Olympus (1994).
Clarke also wrote a number of non-fiction publications. Some noteworthy non-fiction work by Arthur Clarke include Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World, published in 1980 and turned into a television series and Arthur C Clarke’s Chronicles of the Strange and Mysterious which came into print in 1987.
Arthur Clarke tied the marital knot in 1953 but ended up divorced a few years later in 1964. The marriage did not produce any children. In 1956, Clarke had moved to Sri Lanka because he was attracted to the marine diving in the country. He believed marine diving was the nearest he could come to the feeling of being weightless like in space. In the year 2000, Clarke was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. However, due to the poor status of his health, Clarke was unable to travel to London receive the honor personally.
On March 19, 2008, at the age of 90, Arthur C. Clarke passed away in Sri Lanka due to acute breathing problems. He had also been suffering a post-polio syndrome for decades and had been using a wheelchair. The Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse paid his tribute and respects to Clarke by referring to him as a great visionary. Clarke had wanted a secular private funeral for which he had left strict instructions. Also according to his will, Clarke was buried in the family plot of Hector Ekanayake, his business partner in Sri Lanka. Clarke lived with Ekanayake’s family.