Sci-Fi Icon Passes Away
“I leave you with one message: do what you love and love what you do. That’s the story of my life and that’s what I’m all about.” – Ray Bradbury
Science Fiction legend and award-winning author Ray Bradbury passed away Tuesday night at age 91. A statement from Bradbury’s publisher HarperCollins states that the author “died peacefully, last night, in Los Angeles after a lengthy illness.”
Bradbury was born August 22, 1920, and grew up in Waukegan, Illinois. He would later move to Los Angeles, California where he haunted libraries during his teen years.
“Libraries raised me,” the author said in a 2009 interview with The New York Times. “I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”
Best known for his classic sci-fi novels Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury wrote many novels and short stories, as well as essays on the arts. And he would co-found the Pandemonium Theater Company in 1964. He frequently attended science fiction conventions and gave lectures.
I will most remember him for hosting The Ray Bradbury Theater, an anthology TV series that featured adaptations of his short stories. I enjoyed the reruns as a kid, and I always loved the opening of the show with Bradbury in a room of all of his stuff that he says is the inspiration for his stories.
Ray Bradbury also had a comic book connection. 27 of Bradbury’s short stories were adapted by Al Feldstein for the legendary comic book publisher EC Comics. Bradbury was a comics fan himself. “I fell in love with cartoons when I was three,” Bradbury said in an interview with TOR.com. “I began to learn to read with the comic strips every Sunday. When I was seven years old, I fell in love with the animated cartoons of Walt Disney. When I was nine, I saw ‘Buck Rogers’ in the daily paper and fell in love with the future. I began to collect Buck Rogers. When I was 11 years old, Hal Foster began to illustrate ‘Tarzan.’ I began to collect Harold Foster. That was my super favorite of all time. I collected the whole page for the next two or three years starting in 1931. So those two comic strips, ‘Tarzan’ and ‘Buck Rogers,’ dominated my life and my excitement.”