- Birth/Death: August 2, 1920 – June 5, 2012 (Aged 91)
- Career: American fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery fiction author
- Most Famous Works: Farenheit 451 (1953), The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951)
- Awards & Honors: Academy of Arts and Letters (1954), Daytime Emmy Award (1994), National Medal of Arts (2004), Pulitzer Prize (2007)
In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2011, at the age of 91, inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time.
Bradbury was inspired by authors H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Allan Poe. Bradbury identified with Verne, saying, “He believes the human being is in a strange situation in a very strange world, and he believes that we can triumph by behaving morally.” Throughout his life, Bradbury recounted an incident that strongly influenced his writing practice, the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. Mr. Electrico reached out to 12-year-old Bradbury at the end of his performance and touched the boy with his sword and commanded “Live forever!” Bradbury said, “I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped.”
His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screenplay for John Huston’s classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television’s The Ray Bradbury Theater and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree.
He was the recipient of the 200 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.
- “In most cases I don’t even know the metaphors lay waiting to be printed off my retina.”
- “We theorize about what goes on in the brain, but it is mostly undiscovered country. A writer’s work is to coax the stuff out and see how it plays. Surprise, as I have often said, is everything.”
- “The seance. which is to say the typewriter, computer, pen, pencil, and paper are there to catch the ghosts before they thin out in midair.”
- “[T]he creative process is much like the old-fashioned way of taking photos with a huge camera and yu horsing around under a black cloth seeking pictures in the dark. The subjects might not have stood still. There might have been too much light. Or not enough. One can only fumble quickly, hoping for a developed snap.”
- “My tunes and numbers are here. They have filled my years, the years when I refused to die. And in order to do that I wrote, I wrote, I wrote, at noon or 3:00 A.M. So as not to be dead.”
- “If you don’t like what you’re doing, then don’t do it.”
- “It’s lack that gives us inspiration. It’s not fullness.”
- “Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”
- “You only fail if you stop writing.”
- “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”