American science fiction and fantasy author, Ray Bradbury, died Tuesday, June 5 2012, at the age of 91. I first encountered his work in the late 1970s in the form of a film based upon his book, The Illustrated Man, and a television miniseries based another book, The Martian Chronicles. Over time, I encountered more films, television, and even comic books based upon Bradbury's work. His novel, Fahrenheit 451, is one of my favorite novels.
This Associated Press article (via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) has details on his life and career, including this tidbit:
Bradbury was so poor during those years that he didn't have an office or even a telephone. He wrote "Fahrenheit 451" at the UCLA library, on typewriters that rented for 10 cents a half hour. He said he carried a sack full of dimes and completed the book in nine days, at a cost of $9.80.
Although some academics doubted that account, saying he could not have created such a masterpiece in such a rapid, seemingly cavalier fashion, Bradbury maintained in several interviews with the AP over the years that that was exactly how he did it.
I won't put into words what his work meant to me, but I will say Rest in Peace, Mr. Bradbury.