Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr, 1920 - 1986

portrait of Frank Herbert


Born: 8 October 1920, Tacoma, Washington
Died: 11 February 1986, Madison, Wisconsin

Herbert was a brilliant but restless child, following his curiosity and getting in the expected trouble as a result. After high school he lied about his age to get a job at a local newspaper, the Glendale Star. He spent six months as a photographer in the U.S. Navy's Seabees before he was given a medical discharge. After the war he attended the University of Washington, but didn't graduate because he refused to take any course that didn't interest him, and several required courses failed to hold his interest. He sold his first science fiction story in 1947 and his first novel was published in 1955. While researching an article on the Oregon coast sand dunes he got so caught up in the topic that he never wrote the article, after six years he wrote Dune. His second wife returned to full-time work as an ad writer to support the family during that time. The book sold slowly, so Herbert was the education writer at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and lectured at the University of Washington until 1972. He wrote several other books and finally achieved commercial success in 1984 when David Lynch's film version of Dune was released. He died from a massive pulmonary embolism while recovering from cancer surgery.

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