Ray Bradbury Dies at 91

Hailed science-fiction writer’s career spanned more than six decades.

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, a writer whose science fiction novels were loved by many aviators, has died at the age of 91. Bradbury received many awards during his long writing career, including the National Medal of Arts in 2004 and the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation in 2007. Bradbury published nearly 50 books, hundreds of short stories and several poems, screenplays, plays and operas. One of his most popular books, The Martian Chronicles, was published in 1950 and many of his works had flying related themes.

Bradbury's short story Icarus Montgolfier Wright follows a space traveler's thoughts and dreams on the night before the first manned flight to the moon. The character, Jedediah Prentiss, imagines himself personified as the three famous aviators. What's impressive with the short story is that Bradbury's imaginary flight took place on Aug. 22, 1970, only a little more than a year later than the actual first lunar landing. The story was turned into a short film by the same name, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1962.

Surprisingly, Bradbury had a fear of flight, which he didn't overcome until his early 60s. In this video, Bradbury explains how he conquered his fear.