Ray Bradbury

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Ray Douglas Bradbury ([3] born August 22, 1920) is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Many of Bradbury's works have been adapted into television shows or films.

Contents

Early life

Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, the younger of two sons[4] to a Swedish immigrant mother, Ester Moberg Bradbury, and a father, Leonard Spaulding Bradbury,[5] who was a power and telephone lineman.[6] His paternal grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers.

He is distantly related to the American Spalding family, owners of the famous Spalding sports equipment company.[citation needed] His central character Douglas Spaulding, from the novel Dandelion Wine, was reportedly drawn from this heritage. He is also related to the American Shakespeare scholar Douglas Spaulding.[7] Ray is also directly descended from Mary Bradbury who was tried, convicted and sentenced to hang as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. She was married to Captain Thomas Bradbury of Salisbury, Massachusetts.

Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth, spending much time in the Carnegie library in Waukegan, Illinois, reading such authors as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and his favorite author, Edgar Rice Burroughs who wrote novels such as Tarzan and Warlord of Mars.[8] Bradbury was pushed to writing by his aunt, who read him short stories when he was a child.[9] He used this library as a setting for much of his novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, and depicted Waukegan as "Green Town" in some of his other semi-autobiographical novels—Dandelion Wine, Farewell Summer—as well as in many of his short stories.[10]

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