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  • Writer's pictureDavid Baker

Isaac Asimov Died Today (in 1992)

Born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov in Russia in about 1920, Isaac Asimov is well known for his science fiction and popular science books. He also wrote mysteries, fantasy, and works on Shakespeare, mathematics, and the Bible.

Asimov's family emigrated to the United States when he was a toddler, and he became a naturalized American citizen in 1928. He then attended public schools in Brooklyn, New York, graduating at 15 from high school, and attended college at two different branches of Columbia University, graduating with a BS degree in chemistry in 1939, an MA in chemistry in 1941 and a PhD in biochemistry in 1948.

Asimov interrupted his studies to work at the Philadelphia Navy Yard's Experimental Air Station and to serve in the U.S. Army after World War II ended.

Upon completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty at Boston University School of Medicine where he remained even when his writing income surpassed his academic salary.

Widely considered a science fiction master, he was the author of three major series, Foundation, Galactic Empire, and Robot. His story Nightfall was voted as the best science fiction story of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1964.

Asimov's most famous work is the Foundation series, the first three books of which won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966, but his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. Elon Musk credits reading the Foundation series with sparking his curiosity and intense interest in space travel.

Over his career, Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books and hundreds of short stories and won many awards for individual works along with lifetime achievement awards and fourteen honorary doctorates. In fact, an asteroid, a crater on Mars, a literary award, and a high school in Brooklyn are all named in his honor.

Asimov died in 1992 at the age of 72 in New York City, New York, USA due to complications from AIDS which he had contracted from a blood transfusion received during his heart bypass operation in 1983.

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