The American novelist Ray Bradbury has more to his credit than just novels. He was also a poet, playwright, short story writer and essayist. Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920. His father, Leonard Spaulding Bradbury was a lineman for power and phone utilities and his mother, Ester Moberg Bradbury was a Swedish immigrant. Ray led a rather peaceful childhood, which he later mentioned in a number of semi-autobiographical novels. During his younger years, Ray was a huge admirer of magicians and fantasy fiction, some of his favorite writers being Jules Verne, Frank Baum and Edgar Rice Burroughs. In 1938, Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles high school; this marked the end of his formal education. But in fact, Ray Bradbury remained a student for life. From 1938 to 1942, he sold newspapers on the street corners of L.A. Also during these years, he wrote for long hours using the typewriter during the day and spend nights at the public library.
By the year 1943, Ray Bradbury had become a full time writer contributing several short stories to periodicals. In 1947, he published a collection of his short stories titled Dark Carnival. Bradbury gained popularity as a courageous and visionary writer after publishing The Martian Chronicles in 1950, which is a piece of fiction about how people from earth make an attempt to conquer Mars and face unplanned consequences. The Martian chronicles was followed by The Illustrated Man and Fahrenheit 451 (1953) which was widely considered to be Bradbury’s masterpiece. More significant writings from Ray Bradbury include Dandelion Wine, Driving Blind, Dandelion Wine, Quicker Than the Eye, The October Country, A Medicine for Melancholy, I Sing the Body Electric! And Something Wicked This Way Comes. In addition to publishing more than 30 books, Bradbury has published around 600 short stories and many plays, poems and essays.
Having been included in the four Best American Short Stories Collection, Ray Bradbury’s work has left a lasting impression on the American literature. Some of his most prestigious awards include the O. Henry Memorial Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the PEN Center USA West Lifetime Achievement Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award and the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. At the National Book Awards Ceremony in 2000, Ray Bradbury was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Bradbury was a man with a wide vision; he never restricted his creativity to pure literature. He was nominated for the Academy award and won an Emmy award. 65 of Ray’s stories were adapted to television in the Ray Bradbury’s theatre.
Bradbury tied the marital knot in 1947 and lived in LA with his wife Maggie and their numerous cats. The couple had 4 daughters producing 8 grandchildren. Unfortunately for Bradbury, Maggie died in November 2003.
Although a famous science fiction writer, Bradbury was ironically a known tenchnophobe too. He had never driven a car and neither did he trust computers and the internet. On June 5, 2012, Ray Bradbury passed away.