Ray BradburyMarch 30th, 2007
Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, to a Swedish immigrant mother and a father who was a power and telephone lineman. His paternal grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers. Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth, spending much time in the Carnegie Library in Waukegan. His novels Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Farewell Summer depict the town of Waukegan as “Green Town” and are semi-autobiographical. The Bradbury family lived in Tucson, Arizona, in 1926–27 and 1932–33 as his father pursued employment, each time returning to Waukegan, and eventually settled in Los Angeles in 1934, when Ray was thirteen. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1938 but chose not to attend college. Instead, he sold newspapers at the corner of South Norton Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. He continued to educate himself at the local library, and having been influenced by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, he began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines in 1938. His first paid piece was for the pulp magazine Super Science Stories in 1941, for which he earned $15. He became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first book, Dark Carnival, a collection of short works, was published in 1947 by Arkham House. He married Marguerite McClure (1922–2003) in 1947, and they had four daughters.
A chance encounter in a Los Angeles bookstore with the British expatriate writer Christopher Isherwood gave Bradbury the opportunity to put The Martian Chronicles into the hands of a respected critic. Isherwood’s glowing review followed and was a substantial boost to Bradbury’s career.