Ray Bradbury

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Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2012) was an American writer of novels, essays and short stories, particularly on topics in fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery. He is probably best known for The Martian Chronicles, a 1950 book which can be seen as either a short story collection or a novel, and his 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451.


Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, to a Swedish immigrant mother and a father who was a power and telephone lineman.[1] His paternal grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers. Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth, spending much time in the Carnegie Library in Waukegan. His novels Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Farewell Summer depict the town of Waukegan as "Green Town" and are semi-autobiographical. The Bradbury family lived in Tucson, Arizona, in 1926–27 and 1932–33 as his father pursued employment, each time returning to Waukegan, and eventually settled in Los Angeles in 1934, when Ray was thirteen. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1938 but chose not to attend college. Instead, he sold newspapers at the corner of South Norton Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. He continued to educate himself at the local library, and having been influenced by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, he began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines in 1938. His first paid piece was for the pulp magazine Super Science Stories in 1941, for which he earned $15.[2] He became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first book, Dark Carnival, a collection of short works, was published in 1947 by Arkham House. He married Marguerite McClure (1922–2003) in 1947, and they had four daughters.

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 and was a substantial boost to Bradbury's career.

Bradbury died of natural causes at his Los Angeles home on 5 June 2012.[3]

Honors and awards

Documentaries about Ray Bradbury

  • Bradbury's works and approach to writing are documented in Terry Sanders' film Ray Bradbury: Story of a Writer (1963).


  1. Certificate of Birth, Ray Douglas Bradbury, August 22, 1920, Lake County Clerk's Record #4750. Although he was named after Rae Williams, a cousin on his father's side, Ray Bradbury's birth certificate spells his first name as "Ray."
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/books/08/23/people.bradbury.ap/index.html]
  3. Staff writer. Author Ray Bradbury dies, aged 91, BBC News, British Broadcasting Corporation, 6 June 2012. Retrieved on 8 November 2013.
  4. 2007 Special Awards from the Pulitzer Prize website
  5. http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/BasicSearchInput.jsp
  6. Icarus Montgolfier Wright (1962). BFI Film & TV Database. British Film Institute. Retrieved on 8 November 2013.