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Celebrated sci-fi pioneer Ray Bradbury dies

'Fahrenheit 451' author lived in Tucson as a boy

Ray Bradbury, the author of "Fahrenheit 451," "The Martian Chronicles" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes" among some 30 other books and 600 short stories, died Tuesday at 91.

Bradbury's death was announced on his website.

A prolific author, Bradbury first published a short story in 1941. The New Yorker published a piece by Bradbury the day before he died.

Born in Waukegan, Ill., Bradbury lived in Tucson for two short periods as a boy.

One of the most honored—and read—authors of modern speculative fiction, Bradbury resisted categorization as a science fiction writer. He called himself a fantasy writer who referenced mythical themes.

In addition to his novels and hundreds of short stories, Bradbury adapted the script for the 1959 John Huston film "Moby Dick," and wrote for his own television program, "Thee Ray Bradbury Theater," as well as "The Twilight Zone."

His 1950 book "The Martian Chronicles" was a powerful Cold War satire that addressed racism and political tension. 1953's "Fahrenheit 451" was an apocalyptic novel of firefighters tasked to burn books rather than douse fires—Bradbury was told that the title was the temperature at which paper bursts into flame.

Bradbury was awarded a special 2007 Pulitzer Prize citation "for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy."

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A crater on the moon was dubbed "Dandelion Crater" by NASA astronauts, in honor of his book "Dandelion Wine." An asteroid, 9766 Bradbury, was named after the author.

Bradbury continued to write in his final years, although he was confined to a wheelchair.

The day before he died, the New Yorker published a piece by Bradbury, "Take Me Home," on his early inspirations of "Tarzan," "John Carter of Mars," and "Amazing Stories" magazine.

As a boy, Bradbury's family twice moved between Waukegan and Tucson. He spent several months in 1926-27 and 1932-33 living in Arizona. The Bradburys eventually settled in Los Angeles when the future author was 13.

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

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Bradbury was awarded a National Medal of Arts in 2004.

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