Ray Douglas Bradbury (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 and has been described as a Midwest surrealist. Many of Bradbury's works have been adapted into television shows or films.
Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, he was the brother of two older twin boys, (one of whom died in 1918) to a Swedish immigrant mother, Ester Moberg Bradbury, and a father, Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, who was a power and telephone lineman. His paternal grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers.
He is distantly related to the American Spalding family, owners of the Spalding sports equipment company. 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. 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.