Ray Bradbury (his given
name is not Raymond) was born in Waukegan, Illinois to a Swedish
immigrant mother and a father who was a power and telephone lineman. His
paternal grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers,
and not surprisingly, Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout
his youth, spending much time in the Carnegie Library in Waukegan.
His novels, "Dandelion Wine" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes"
depict the town of Waukegan as "Green Town" and are
Bradbury moved with his family to Los Angeles at the age of 14. 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. 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.
Although he never actually wrote for comics, in the early 1950s, notorious EC comics adapted 27 of his stories
as comic book features, in "ShockSuspense Stories", "CrimeSuspense
Stories", "Vault Of Horror", "Weird Science" and more.
Bradbury's ascent towards becoming one of the preeminent science fiction writers began in 1950 with the publication of his story cycle, "The Martian Chronicles", followed in 1951 by "The Illustrated Man". In 1953, Bradbury published his literary masterpiece "Fahrenheit 451"; the following year, the 34 year-old author received the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for contributions to American literature.
Bradbury has published more than 30 books and has written nearly 600 short stories. His literary awards include the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (2000), the O. Henry Prize (1947 and 1948), the Benjamin Franklin Award (1953-54), the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement (1977), the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, and the PEN Center USA West Lifetime Achievement Award (1985).
Bradbury has also authored numerous screenplays and television scripts. In 1963, his animated film, Icarus Montgolfier Wright, garnered an Academy Award nomination. His additional screenplays include "Moby Dick" (1956), "It Came from Outer Space" (1953), and a 1983 adaptation of his novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes". Bradbury, who has written television scripts for such series as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Twilight Zone", is the recipient of an Emmy Award for his teleplay of "The Halloween Tree". From 1985 to 1990, he adapted many of his stories for his television show "Ray Bradbury Theater". In 2002, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to literature, the sci-fi film genre, and television.