Ray Bradbury, author of 'Fahrenheit 451,' dies at 91

Posted By Kate Stanton, UPI.com  |  June 6, 2012 at 10:26 AM
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Beloved science-fiction author Ray Bradbury has died in Los Angeles at the age of 91, according to reports.

Bradbury is best known for his poignant novel about book-burning in a dystopian society, "Fahrenheit 451," and for his story collection, "The Martian Chronicles." He also wrote "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and "Dandelion Wine."

Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1920, and went on to become one of the most celebrated American writers, particularly in the futuristic fiction genre.

Speculative fiction fans often credit Ray Bradbury with elevating the genre to new literary heights.

"He was the biggest kid I know." Ray Bradbury's grandson, Danny Karapetian, told io9.com.

Karapetian chose a passage from Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man" to remember his grandfather:

"My tunes and numbers are here. They have filled my years, the years when I refused to die. And in order to do that I wrote, I wrote, I wrote, at noon or 3:00 A.M. So as not to be dead."

"Everything I've done is a surprise, a wonderful surprise," Bradbury said in 2000.

"I sometimes get up at night when I can't sleep and walk down into my library and open one of my books and read a paragraph and say, 'My God, did I write that? Did I write that?', because it's still a surprise."

Bradbury won the National Book Foundation's 2000 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and National Medal of Arts in 2004.

In a 2001 keynote address at the Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea, Bradbury spoke about the feeling of joy that writing gave him.

"The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year. I want you to envy me, my joy. Get out of here tonight and say: 'Am I being joyful?' And if you’ve got a writer’s block, you can cure it this evening by stopping whatever you’re writing and doing something else. You picked the wrong subject.'

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