American novelist, short story writer, essayist,
playwright, screenwriter and poet.
Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in
Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920.
He was the third son of Leonard
Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie
They gave him the middle name
"Douglas," after the actor, Douglas
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.
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.
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.
His first published short story was
"Hollerbochen's Dilemma," printed in
1938 in an amateur fan magazine called
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.
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.
as a leading science
fiction writer was
finally established with
the publication of “The
Martian Chronicles” in
“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
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.
Another of Bradbury's best-known
works was released in 1953.
“Fahrenheit 451” is set in a future
when the written word is
"Fireman" Guy Montag, enjoys his
duties as a professional book-
He never questions the totalitarian
government, nor the barbaric acts
he commits in its name.
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.
Bradbury's work has won innumerable honors
Perhaps the most unusual honor came from the
Apollo astronaut who named Dandelion Crater
after Bradbury's novel, “Dandelion Wine”.
“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.
Beyond his literary contributions,
Bradbury also serves as an "idea
consultant" for various civic,
educational and entertainment
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
Maggie died in 2003 in Los Angeles. She left eight
grandchildren and four cats.