The life of Isaac Asimov reflects this author's willingness to learn about anything and everything. Although he was best known for science fiction, he published many different types of works, including fiction and non-fiction, highly scientific papers, children's books, columns, political commentaries and even autobiographies. Asimov was one of the most popular and prolific writers of the 20th century, and his books and papers influenced many scientists, writers and entertainers who followed in his wake.
The son of Jewish Russians, Isaac Asimov was born on January 2, 1920, in the city of Petrovichi, Russia. The family emigrated to New York in 1923 and owned a small store. Asimov and his younger sister and brother helped with the work around the shop. As a boy, Asimov enjoyed reading science fiction magazines at the store and wrote short stories in his early teens. Asimov graduated from Boys' High School in Brooklyn, New York, and he sold his first story at the age of 19 to a science fiction magazine.
Education And Teaching
Asimov went to Columbia University, and in 1948, he eventually earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He became a faculty member at the Boston University School of Medicine. As his writing career took off, Asimov was relieved from teaching but remained a full professor with BU.
While Asimov wrote short stories throughout the 1940s, he worked on a science fiction trilogy, called The Foundation Trilogy, which was published between 1951 and 1953. The volumes cover the fall and subsequent rise of a great empire that spans galaxies. The success of the series allowed Asimov to write full time. Other well-known Asimov science fiction works include I, Robot (1950), The Naked Sun (1957), The Gods Themselves (1972), and the sequel to The Foundation Trilogy, Foundation's Edge (1982). His Lucky Starr juvenile fiction series (1952 to 1958) was also quite popular.
Asimov books also appeared in several other genres. Of those, Asimov's best-known scientific and academic works include Intelligent Man's Guide to Science (1960) and Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (1964). Mysteries like The Death Dealers (1958) and The Union Club Mysteries (1983) reveal that Asimov's writing talents extended into other fiction genres. Asimov also authored several autobiographies.
Asimov married Gertrude Blugerman in 1942, and they had two children, David and Robyn. Asimov divorced her in 1973, and a year later he married Janet Jeppson. Asimov feared flying and only learned to drive a car in his later years. Asimov underwent triple bypass surgery in 1983 after several years of poor health. The blood transfusion infected him with HIV, and he died from complications of that condition in 1992.
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