Science fiction author Ray Bradbury, whose famous work included Feriheight 451, recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, died today, at the age of 91 after a long illness. He lived in Los Angeles.
Bradbury's books and 600 short stories predicated a variety of things, including the emergence of ATMs and live broadcasts of fugitive car chases.
Bradbury wrote the screenplay for John Huston's classic film adaptation of "Moby Dick."
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"In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back," he wrote in a book of essays published in 2005. "Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior."
He is survived by his four daughters, Susan Nixon, Ramona Ostergren, Bettina Karapetian and Alexandra Bradbury, and eight grandchildren. His wife of 57 years, Marguerite, died in 2003.
Sam Weller, Bradbury's biographer and friend, said in a posting on his website today, "I'll never see you again. I'll never see you again. I'll never see you again.... The problem with death, you once said to me, is that 'it is so damned permanent,'" Weller's statement said.
Throughout Bradbury's life, he liked to recount a story of meeting a carnival magician when he was a child. At the end of the magician's performance, says Bradbury, he reached out to him, touched him with a sword, and commanded, Live forever! Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."