Isaac Asimov, 1920 - 1992

portrait of Isaac Asimov


Born: 2 January 1920, Petrovichi, Byelorussian SSR
Died: 6 April 1992, New York City

Born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov, Asimov was an author and professor of biochemistry, and one of the most prolific writers of all time with over 500 works. While he was best known for his science fiction, he also wrote mysteries, fantasies, and nonfiction science books in every major category of the Dewey Decimal System. He is considered one of the "Big Three" fiction writers of all time, and a master of "hard" science fiction.

Asimov's family came to the United States when he was three and he grew up in Brooklyn. He was fascinated by science fiction, and managed to persuade his father that pulp magazines like Astounding Science Fiction were educational because they had the word "science" in the title. During World War II, he worked at the Philadelphia Naval Yard's Naval Air Experimental Station before earning his doctorate at Columbia University in 1948. He joined the faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine in 1948, but quit teaching in 1958. He earned more money by writing.

Asimov was a fan of a wide range of other authors, including Arthur C. Clarke, Rex Stout, Arthur Conan Doyle, and he loved the music of Gilbert and Sullivan. He was a friend of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and acted as an advisor in several Star Trek projects. He was popular at conventions, as he was an excellent speaker and very approachable.

As a writer, Asimov's style was very clear and unadorned, focused on plot rather than characterization. This endeared him especially to readers of his nonfiction works, making it easier to understand complex scientific principles and historical events. Asimov suffered a heart attack in 1977, and had triple bypass surgery in 1983. During the surgery, he was infected with HIV which led to his death.

Biography from Wikipedia and Authors' Calendar

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