Ray Douglas Bradbury

Ray Bradbury's Biography

American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and poet. Ray Bradbury was born in
Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920, the third son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie Moberg
Bradbury. In the fall of 1926 Ray Bradbury's family moved from Waukegan, Illinois to Tucson, Arizona, only to
return to Waukegan again in May 1927. By 1931 he began writing his own stories on butcher paper. In 1932, after
his father was laid off his job as a telephone lineman, the Bradbury family again moved to Tucson and again
returned to Waukegan the following year. In 1934 the Bradbury family moved to Los Angeles, California.

Bradbury graduated from a Los Angeles High School in 1938. His formal education ended there,
but he furthered it by himself -- at night in the library and by day at his typewriter. He sold
newspapers on Los Angeles street corners from 1938 to 1942. Bradbury's first story publication
was "Hollerbochen's Dilemma," printed in 1938 in Imagination!, an amateur fan magazine. In
1939, Bradbury published four issues of Futuria Fantasia, his own fan magazine, contributing much of the
published material himself. Bradbury's first paid publication was "Pendulum" in 1941 to Super Science Stories.
In 1942 Bradbury wrote "The Lake," the story in which he discovered his distinctive writing style. By 1943 he
had given up his job selling newspapers and began writing full-time, contributing numerous short stories to
periodicals. In 1945 his short story "The Big Black and White Game" was selected for Best American Short Stories. In 1947
Bradbury married Marguerite McClure, and that same year he gathered much of his best material and published them as Dark
Carnival, his first short story collection.

His reputation as a leading writer of science fiction was established with the publication of The Martian Chronicles in 1950
(published in England under the title The Silver Locusts), which describes the first attempts of Earth people to conquer and
colonize Mars, the constant thwarting of their efforts by the gentle, telepathic Martians, the eventual colonization, and finally the
effect on the Martian settlers of a massive nuclear war on Earth. As much a work of social criticism as of science fiction, The
Martian Chronicles reflects some of the prevailing anxieties of America in the early atomic age of the 1950's: the fear of nuclear
war, the longing for a simpler life, reactions against racism and censorship, and fear of foreign political powers.

Another of Bradbury's best-known works, the novel Fahrenheit 451, was released in 1953 and is set in a
future when the written word is forbidden. Resisting a totalitarian state which burns all the books, a group of
rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy.

Ray Bradbury's work has been included in the Best American Short Story collections (1946, 1948, and
1952). He has been awarded the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award in 1954, the
Aviation-Space Writer's Association Award for best space article in an American Magazine in 1967, the
World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement, and the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction
Writers of America. His animated film about the history of flight, Icarus Montgolfier Wright, was
nominated for an academy award, and his teleplay of The Halloween Tree won an Emmy.

Ray Bradbury's writing has been honored in many ways, but perhaps the most unusual was when an Apollo
astronaut named the Dandelion Crater on the Moon after Bradbury's novel, Dandelion Wine.

Outside of his literary achievements, Ray Bradbury was the idea consultant and wrote the basic scenario for the
United States Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. He conceived the metaphors for Spaceship Earth,
EPCOT, Disney World, and he contributed to the conception of the Orbitron space ride at Euro-Disney, France.
He was creative consultant for the Jon Jerde Partnership, the architectural firm that blueprinted the Glendale
Galleria, The Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles, and Horton Plaza in San Diego.

Ray Bradbury currently lives in California and is still actively writing and lecturing.