Ray Bradbury, Who Held Science Fiction Society Meetings Throughout the Valley, Dies at 91

The famed science fiction writer used local buildings for his meetings.

Ray Bradbury, the famed science fiction writer, died Tuesday, and he has had a major impact in neighboring Studio City. In 1973, he led the move to put the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society to Studio City. 

On a personal note, meeting Ray Bradbury (through Forrest Ackerman in the 1980s), was one of the most exciting celebrity moments I have ever had, and I just gushed and blathered and embarrassed myself through most of it, no doubt. We will miss his work—and I'll read one of his great short stories to our 10-year-old in his memory tonight.

The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society moved to North Hollywood for decades before the club moved to Van Nuys last year. Read more here:

Here is the obituary from City News Service:

Ray Bradbury, the Los Angeles High School graduate who went on to author "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles" and other celebrated works, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 91, it was announced today.

Bradbury, a Los Angeles resident, died Tuesday after a long illness, according to family members and his New York City-based agent, Michael Congdon, who released no further details.

"Ray Bradbury has inspired generations of readers to dream, think and create," according to a statement released by Congdon's literary agency.

President Barack Obama said Bradbury's "gift for storytelling reshaped our culture and expanded our world. But Ray also understood that our imaginations could be used as a tool for better understanding, a vehicle for change and an expression of our most cherished values."

Bradbury's stories combined elements of science fiction, fantasy and futuristic political repression. In "Fahrenheit 451," firefighters don't put out fires; they start them -- using books for kindling. The title refers to the temperature at which paper burns.

The author's voluminous body of work includes hundreds of short stories and nearly 50 books, along with poems, essays, screenplays, plays and operas. Bradbury's screenplay for John Huston's cinematic adaptation of "Moby Dick" earned an Academy Award nomination.

In a collection of stories published in 1950 as "The Martian Chronicles," Bradbury wrote of humans colonizing the Red Planet as the Earth faces an atomic holocaust.

His other books include "The Illustrated Man," "Dandelion Wine" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

But the man who envisioned interplanetary travel did not have a driver's license and for years was afraid to fly. He eventually overcame that fear and learned to "just sit back" and "peep out the window and peruse the magazines" when on an airplane, he once told Playboy magazine.

"In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back," Bradbury wrote in "Bradbury Speaks," a book of essays published in 2005.

Born in Waukegan, Ill., Bradbury moved to the City of Angels with his family at age 13 and graduated from Los Angeles High in 1938. He did not go to college, choosing instead to hone his writing skills in local libraries, including UCLA's Powell Library. It was in a study room of that library, using a rented typewriter, that Bradbury reportedly wrote "The Fireman," which he later expanded into "Fahrenheit 451."

"Libraries raised me," Bradbury told the New York Times in 2009. "I don't believe in colleges and universities."

He went on to say that he graduated from high school during the Depression, a time when his family did not have much money.

"I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years," he said.

According to his agent, Bradbury -- who as a child aspired to be a magician -- was fond of recounting his meeting with a carnival sleight-of-hand artist named Mr. Electrico in 1932.

During the meeting, the magician touched the then-12-year-old Bradbury with a sword and said, "Live forever."

"I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard," Bradbury said. "I started writing every day. I never stopped."

Bradbury is survived by his four daughters -- Susan Nixon, Ramona Ostergren, Bettina Karapetian and Alexandra Bradbury -- and eight grandchildren. His wife of 57 years, Marguerite, a UCLA graduate, died in 2003.

Grandson Danny Karapetian, an actor and writer, posted on his Twitter page, "The world has lost one of the best writers its ever known and one of the dearest men to my heart. RIP Ray Bradbury (Ol' Gramps)."

Mona Enos June 09, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Bless you Ray Bradbury to the beyond!
Pat June 09, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Ray Bradbury -- To infinity and beyond! :)
Pat June 09, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Unfortunately, Ray Bradbury was no fan of Barack Obama. He was quite incensed about the government cutting back on the space program, saying, "There's too much government. Government should be by the people, for the people." Yep, Bradbury said that.


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