Categories: Famous Authors of the 20th Century | Science Fiction Authors | Hugo Award Winners | Nebula Award Winners | United States Army | Columbia University | Brooklyn, New York | This Day In History January 02 | This Day In History April 06 | Notables.
Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Yudovich Osimov in Petrovichi, Russia (U.S.S.R) on January 2, 1920. His parents were Russian Jews. His father, Judah Ozimov was a miller and his mother Anna Rachel (Berman) Ozimov was well respected within the Jewish-Russian community. His younger sister Manya was born 2 years after Isaac, and his family emigrated to the United States when Isaac was 3.
His family settled into Brooklyn, New York, and had another child, Stanley. Judah opened up a candy store, and Isaac was expected to work there alongside the rest of his family. Isaac enjoyed reading the sci-fi pulps even though his father forbade him, and began writing as early as age 11. By 15 he graduated public school and started attending junior college where he studied both zoology and chemistry.
He was denied entry into the graduate medical program at Columbia, but ended up in their chemistry graduate program under a probationary basis. He completed his MA in Chemistry in 1941, but his education was interrupted by WW II. He did a 3 year stint as a civilian at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and immediately after the war he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He spent nine months in the Army, was promoted to Corporal, and was honorably discharged. He then returned to school and completed his PhD in biochemistry in 1948.
During his time in school, Isaac met and then married his first wife, Gertrude Blugerman. They were married in 1942 and rented an apartment in West Philadelphia, near the Navy Yard. After his graduate degree, they moved to Boston in 1949, where their two children were born (David in 1951 and Robyn in 1955). They later moved to the suburbs of West Newton in 1956 where they lived for the rest of their married life.
Throughout his time in college, he sold short stories to the sci-fi pulps such as "Amazing Stories" and "Astounding. This began around 1939 (age 19) and continued through around 1949. By 1950, he sold his first novel, Pebble in the Sky. Several of Asimov's short stories (such as the Foundation series and I, Robot) were originally started in the pulps, and were later collected and published as novels. Both Foundation and the I, Robot "Laws of Robotics" were two of his most widely known subjects.
He also took on a job at the Boston University School of Medicine, where he taught classes from 1950 through 1958. He also continued to write sci-fi through 1958, intermixing it with nonfiction material beginning in 1952. By 1958, he began writing almost exclusively nonfiction works, writing a large number of articles in the area of popular science. After 1958, he also moved to a nonteaching role at the university, as his writing income had exceeded his teaching salary. He continued his role at the university and in primarily writing fiction throughout the 1960's.
Asimov was given a significant number of awards for his work, beginning in 1957 with the Thomas Alva Edison award for his book on science titled "Building Blocks of the Universe". From there, he received 8 more awards both for fiction and nonfiction throughout the 1960's, and another 5 awards in the 1970's. In total, he received at least 24 significant awards for his writing. In his career as an author, he ended up writing or editing over 500 books and wrote another 90,000 letters. He is widely considered one of the most prolific and greatest hard science fiction writers of all time.
By 1970, Isaac and Gertrude's relationship was crumbling, and they separated and never resumed their relationship. His son David was 19 and his daughter Robyn was 15 at the time of their separation. Isaac moved back to New York City to Manhattan, and began seeing Janet Jeppson, a fellow writer. In 1973, Isaac's divorce was finalized, and he married Janet just two weeks after the date of the divorce.
In 1977, Isaac had a heart attack which was just the beginning of his health issues. By 1983, he had triple-bypass surgery to address some of his heart problems, and during the procedure, received a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, the transfusion was not screened for HIV/AIDS, and Asimov was infected with the deadly disease. He was convinced by his doctors to keep this information private, and as such, this was not known until his death. He continued to decline in health over the next several years, until he finally succumbed to the disease (it eventually attacked his heart and kidneys, according to his brother Stanley's account) on April 6, 1992.
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On 3 Jan 2018 at 12:28 GMT John Akard III wrote:
Several Science Fiction Writers have been commentators for TV coverage of Moon Missions.
On 3 Jan 2018 at 02:16 GMT John Walker wrote:
On 28 Dec 2017 at 18:47 GMT Abby (Brown) Glann wrote:
This profile looks great. Any chance you could add some inline citations? I'd like to use it next week for an Example Profile of the Week since Isaac's birthday is next week. If you just let me know when you're done, I'll add a few finishing touches. :-)
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