Ray Bradbury was born Ray Douglas Bradbury to Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Ester Moberg Bradbury in Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920. He had a relatively idyllic childhood, and loved reading adventure and fantasy stories.
At around age 12 or 13, he made the decision to become a writer because he wanted to “live forever” through his novels. The first time he was paid for a piece of writing happened when he contributed a joke to George Burns’s Burns & Allen Show.
He graduated from high school in 1938, but as he could not afford to go to college due to the fact that this was during the Depression, he decided to self-teach himself everything at the library by going three days a week for ten years.
While working on his writing career, he supported himself by selling newspapers. His first short story publication came in a fan magazine in 1938. In 1939, he started his own magazine made up almost completely of his own writing, which he called Futuria Fantasia.
He sold his first professional piece, a story called “Pendulum,” in 1941, and he became a full-time writer in 1943. Dark Carnival, his first collection of short stories, was published in 1947. He published his first major work, The Martian Chronicles, in 1950. His most popular piece of work, Fahrenheit 451, was published only three short years later, in 1953, and became an instant classic.He continued to write well into his 80s, and even continued after he could no longer write himself by telling one of his daughters to transcribe his words for him. His life-long career in writing and brilliant storytelling came to an end when he died at the age of 91, on June 5, 2012, in Los Angeles, California.
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