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THE IRREGULAR AUTHOR SERIES: RAY BRADBURY

Updated: Oct 9

What do you think about when you think about Mars? For that matter, what do you think when you think about books and the power found in the words contained therein? The many worlds we travel while reading have been explored by many poets, writers, and filmmakers, but perhaps one of the most important creators to take us across the distant stars is the one and only Ray Bradbury. Who is he, you ask? Allow us to introduce you…

Ray Douglas Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois. Counted among his ancestors are the Shakespeare scholar Douglas Spaulding and Mary Bradbury, who was one of the women tried during the Salem witch trials of 1692 (Shakespeare and the Salem witch trials would go on to serve as inspiration for various stories and novels).

After spending his formative years in Waukegan (the basis for the fictional “Green Town” appearing in his stories and poems), Ray Bradbury moved with his family on multiple occasions. They always moved back to Waukegan, until they settled in Los Angeles, California in 1934. Ray was 14 when this occurred. He went on to attend Los Angeles High School, where he was active in the drama club and developed his literary interests.

He graduated high school and went straight to work selling newspapers, writing short stories in his spare time, and selling them to pulp magazines. Eventually, he turned those stories into his first books: two fix-up novels entitled The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles, and an expanded version of an earlier novella entitled Fahrenheit 451. These three novels are arguably his most famous works.

Among his many accolades for his work include The Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation in 2000, and a special citation from The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2007. His work has also been perennially adapted to other media, including many episodic adaptations for The Ray Bradbury Theater.

Ray Bradbury died on June 5th, 2012, at the age of 91. Among those who paid tribute to the author were President Barack Obama, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and writer Stephen King.

(Works cited_ The Bradbury Chronicles, by Sam Weller, and the Wikipedia Article on Ray Bradbury)


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