• Ray Bradbury

Author Ray Bradbury died yesterday, at the age of 91, in the Los Angeles area, where he lived, and where I saw him, maybe five years ago, in a bookstore lecture appearance that was entertaining and enlightening, but most memorable as evidence of his deeply generous attitude toward his readers. Even in jaded Santa Monica, they lined up around the block to get his signature, and, though wheelchair bound after a stroke and visibly taxed by the effort, he didn’t disappoint any of them.

Reader writer Grant Pick is gone too, but in 2004 he wrote this typically great piece about a Bradbury biography in progress, by journalist Sam Weller, now a Columbia College writing prof. (Weller’s book The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury was published in 2005.)

Pick interviewed Bradbury (who was born in Waukegan) for his story, noted that he was still writing regularly (going directly from sleep to the typewriter every morning, he said when I saw him), and gave us this Bradbury quote to live by:

“I have two rules in life—to hell with it, whatever it is, and get your work done.”