Hugo Gernsback

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Hugo Gernsback (August 16, 1884 – August 19, 1967), born Hugo Gernsbacher, was a Luxembourg American inventor, writer and magazine publisher, best remembered for publications that included the first science fiction magazine. His contributions to the genre as publisher were so significant that, along with H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, he is sometimes popularly called "The Father of Science Fiction".[1] In his honour, the annual Science Fiction Achievement awards are named the "Hugos".

Contents

Biography

Born in the Bonnevoie neighbourhood of Luxembourg City, Gernsback emigrated to the United States in 1905 and later became a naturalized citizen.[2] He married three times: to Rose Harvey in 1906, Dorothy Kantrowitz in 1921, and Mary Hancher in 1951. In 1925, Hugo founded radio station WRNY which broadcast from the 18th floor of The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City and was involved in the first television broadcasts. He is also considered a pioneer in amateur radio.

Before helping to create science fiction, Gernsback was an entrepreneur in the electronics industry, importing radio parts from Europe to the United States and helping to popularize amateur "wireless." In April 1908 he founded Modern Electrics, the world's first magazine about electronics. Under its auspices, in January 1909, he founded the Wireless Association of America, which had 10,000 members within a year. In 1912, Gernsback said that he estimated 400,000 people in the U.S. were involved in amateur radio. In 1913, he founded a similar magazine, The Electrical Experimenter, which became Science and Invention in 1920. It was in these magazines that he began including scientific fiction stories alongside science journalism.

He died at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City on August 19, 1967.[3]

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