By Phyllis Dolinsky
He is best known for the Martian Chronicles and “Fahrenheit 451” for which he won the Pulitzer prize in 2004. “Fahrenheit 451” is still a current observation of our Television-obsessed society. Bradbury was precient in 1953 when he felt America would stop reading and watch TV so much that the vast majority of our knowledge would come from “factoids.” We now see that our TV world, especially in politics and history, is a series of “soundbites” from Fox “News” and CNN.
Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. He was the eldest son of Leonard Spalding Bradbury and Esther Moberg Bradbury. As a young child, he enjoyed reading science fiction and adventure books. He decided, he wanted to become a writer himself at the age of 12 or 13. He would “live forever” through his fiction.
His family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1934 and in his teen years he acted in the school drama club and through this, he occasionally met Hollywood’s celebrities.
His first paycheck came from writing a joke for George Burns. Unable to afford college, he supported himself by selling newspaper and writing and publishing for his own fan magazine. He published under various names to hide the fact that it was almost a one-man show – but he already knew he wanted to be a writer. He married Margaret “Maggie” McClure, and they had four daughters. Maggie was the major breadwinner for years while he wrote. In all, Bradbury wrote more than 30 books and around 600 short stories. He was proud that he had a part in changing people’s lives through his writing.
Bradbury worked into his 90s with the help of his daughters transcribing his words. As he wished, he will be remembered. Go and check out one of his books.