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BACKGROUND INFORMATION - BIOGRAPHY
Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. The third son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esthere Marie Moberg Bradbury, Ray showed promise as a writer at the early age of eleven when he began writing short stories on butcher paper. As a child, he was fascinated by magic and fantasy and spent many an afternoon dreaming that he would grow up to be a magician himself. In his youth, his family moved from Illinois to Arizona, and then on to Los Angeles, where he spent most of his earlier years.
Bradbury's first story, "Holler Bochen's Dilemma," was printed in 1938 in an amateur fan magazine. He went on to publish his own magazine, called Futuria Fantasia. Then in 1941, he published a short story called "Pendulum," for which he received his first income. During the 1940's, he dedicated himself to writing short stories and developed his own distinct literary style. Most of his subject matter was fantastic, as seen in such stories as "Uncle Einar," a tale about a man with green wings. "The Big Black and White Game," published in 1945, earned Bradbury a name for himself as a short story writer. In 1947, he published a collection of his short stories entitled Dark Carnival.
In 1950, Bradbury turned his attention solely to science fiction, although most of his writing had an element of social commentary in it. The Martian Chronicles reflected the prevailing anxieties of post-war America and the fascination that mankind had developed for discovering life on other planets. The book was very popular and gained Bradbury the reputation as a leading writer of science fiction in America.
Bradbury continued to write science fiction novels and is best known for Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Many of his books have been made into major motion pictures and several have won him awards, including the O'Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin award, the Aviation Space Writers Association Award, and the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. He was also awarded the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Aside from his literary achievements, Bradbury served as the consultant for United States pavilion at the New York World's Fair in 1964. In the early nineties, he contributed to the conception of the Orbitron space ride at Euro Disney, France. At the present, he continues to write and lecture on science fiction.