Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury

  1. 1. Ray Bradbury American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet.
  2. 2. Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. He was the third son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie Moberg Bradbury. They gave him the middle name "Douglas," after the actor, Douglas Fairbanks.
  3. 3. Between 1926 and 1933, the Bradbury family moved back and forth between Waukegan and Tucson, Arizona. In 1931, young Ray began writing his own stories on butcher paper. In 1934, the Bradbury family moved to Los Angeles, California. As a teenager, Bradbury often roller-skated through Hollywood, trying to spot celebrities. He befriended other talented and creative people, like special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen and radio star George Burns.
  4. 4. Bradbury attended Los Angeles High School. He was active in the drama club and planned to become an actor. However, two of his teachers recognized a greater talent in Bradbury, and encouraged his development as a writer. Snow Longley Housh taught him about poetry and Jeannet Johnson taught him to write short stories. Over 60 years later, Bradbury's work bears the indelible impressions left by these two women.
  5. 5. Bradbury's formal education ended with his high school graduation in 1938. However, he continued to educate himself. He sold newspapers on Los Angeles street corners all day, but spent his nights in the library. He spent the hours between newspaper editions at his typewriter.
  6. 6. His first published short story was "Hollerbochen's Dilemma," printed in 1938 in an amateur fan magazine called Imagination!. In 1939, Bradbury published four issues of his own fan magazine, Futuria Fantasia, writing much of the content himself. His first paid publication, a short story titled "Pendulum," appeared in Super Science Stories in 1941.
  7. 7. In 1946, he met his future wife, Marguerite "Maggie" McClure. A graduate of George Washington High School (1941) and UCLA. Maggie was working as a clerk in a book shop when they met. Ray and Maggie were married in the Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal in Los Angeles on September 27, 1947. They were married for 57 years.
  8. 8. Bradbury's reputation as a leading science fiction writer was finally established with the publication of “The Martian Chronicles” in 1950.
  9. 9. “The Martian Chronicles” describes man's attempts to conquer and colonize Mars, and the mysterious Martians' attempts to repel the intruders. Just as the human supplant the last remnants of the Martian culture, they find themselves witnesses to a massive nuclear war on Earth. The book reflects some of America's prevailing anxieties in the early 1950's: the threat of nuclear war, the longing for a simpler life, reactions against racism and censorship, and fear of foreign political powers.
  10. 10. Another of Bradbury's best-known works was released in 1953. “Fahrenheit 451” is set in a future when the written word is forbidden. "Fireman" Guy Montag, enjoys his duties as a professional book- burner. He never questions the totalitarian government, nor the barbaric acts he commits in its name.
  11. 11. His eyes are finally opened when a young girl tells him of a time when books were legal and people did not live in fear. Montag begins stealing books marked for destruction and meets a professor who agrees to educate him. When his actions are discovered, he must run for his life.
  12. 12. Bradbury's work has won innumerable honors and awards. Perhaps the most unusual honor came from the Apollo astronaut who named Dandelion Crater after Bradbury's novel, “Dandelion Wine”.
  13. 13. “Dandelion Wine” is a semi-autobiographical novel written in 1957. It takes place in the summer of 1928 in the fictional town of Green Town, Illinois (a pseudonym for Bradbury’s childhood home of Waukegan, Illinois). The title refers to a wine made with dandelion petals and other ingredients, commonly citrus fruit. In the story, dandelion wine, as made by the protagonist’s grandfather, serves as a metaphor for packing all of the joys of summer into a single bottle. The main character of the story is Douglas Spaulding, a 12- year-old boy loosely patterned after Bradbury.
  14. 14. Beyond his literary contributions, Bradbury also serves as an "idea consultant" for various civic, educational and entertainment projects. He provided the concept and script for the United States Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair and contributed to Disney's Spaceship Earth at EPCOT and the Orbitron at the Disneyland parks in Paris and Anaheim.
  15. 15. Maggie died in 2003 in Los Angeles. She left eight grandchildren and four cats.
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