Bradbury, Ray (Douglas) (1920-2012), American writer of science fiction, best known for his novels and collections of short stories. He often blends science fiction with social criticism and writes about the destructive tendency in humans to use technology at the expense of morality. His Fahrenheit 451 (1953) is the portrait of an autocratic society in which the government provides all information to its citizens via television and all books are banned and burned.
Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Bradbury was an imaginative child prone to nightmares and frightening fantasies, which he later drew on for his writing. He began writing at least four hours a day when he was 12 years old. He sold his first story in 1941 and became a full-time writer in 1943. The Martian Chronicles (1950), a collection of stories about people colonizing Mars, is one of his best-known works. Bradbury has also written poetry and scripts for plays and films. Bradbury’s early works include The Illustrated Man (1951), Dandelion Wine (1957), and Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962). His later works include Long After Midnight (1977), Death Is a Lonely Business (1985), and A Graveyard for Lunatics (1990). The short-story collections Quicker Than the Eye (1996) and Driving Blind (1997) move away from science fiction in style and subject matter.