September 20, 2020

Ray Bradbury, author of ‘Farenheit 451’, dies age 91

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Ray Bradbury, author of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, died Tuesday (6). He was 91.

Born in Waukegan, Ill, USA, 1920, Bradbury grew up in the Great Depression with an active imagination. He imagined there were monsters at the top of the stairs.

“As soon as I looked up, there it was, and it was horrible,” Bradbury remembers. “And I would scream and fall back down the stairs, and my mother and father would get up and sigh and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, here we go again.’ ”

Bradbury made his mark in the literary world with The Martian Chronicles, a collection of short stories released in 1950. During the height of the Red Scare, he set off a warning flare about censorship with his signature work, Fahrenheit 451 — and he did so in a controversial new magazine: Playboy. The story was later printed as a novel, and in 1966 director Francois Truffaut introduced movie audiences to this bizarre society Bradbury created: one in which firemen burned books to keep the masses completely ignorant but couldn’t extinguish their curiosity.

Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and starts to burn.

Bradbury saw his work more as social commentary than science fiction. And he found new ways to express his take on the world. He adapted a screenplay of Melville’s Moby Dick and worked on TV shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone.

But there was one medium Bradbury never embraced: computers. He once told The New York Times that the Internet was meaningless. And it wasn’t until 2011 that Bradbury reluctantly gave in to his publisher’s demands to release Farenheit 451 as an e-book.

Bradbury married his wife, Maggie, in 1947 and they had four daughters. At age 80, Bradbury suffered a stroke and could no longer write — but he continued to dream. He was so certain mankind would land on Mars, he asked to be buried there. That may never happen, but it didn’t stop him from believing it was possible.

For more on this story go to:

www.npr.org/2012/06/06/154424247/fahrenheit-451-author-ray-bradbury-dies-at-91

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