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Robert A. Heinlein Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 7 July 1907Butler, Missouri, USA
Date of Death 8 May 1988Carmel, California, USA  (emphysema and congestive heart failure)
Birth NameRobert Anson Heinlein
Nickname The Grand Master

Mini Bio (2)

At the age of 17, Heinlein graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He spent one year at the University of Missouri before he entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, from which he graduated as the 20th best among the 243 cadets. He spent five years in the Pacific Ocean until he had to retire because of tuberculosis in 1934. After his retirement he had different kinds of jobs: silver mining in Colorado, land-agent, political speech-writer and a failed attempt to become an elected politician. He also married his first wife, Leslyn McDonald.

His first story "Lifeline" was written as an entry for a magazine contest offering $50 for the best sf story by a new writer, but he sold it instead for $70 to the magazine "Astounding Stories" where it was published in August 1939. During WWII he worked as a research engineer for the navy in Philadelphia but he also wrote 25 novels and short stories. He also met his second wife Virginia Gerstenfeld whom he married in 1948. Not much is known about his personal life. He once said that he wrote seven days a week, six months a year. The other six months he traveled or was lazy. At the end of the 1960s his health became weaker and he had to undergo several treatments. His health improved after a major operation in 1982 but his novel, "To Sail Beyond the Sunset," published in 1987, became his last.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mattias Thuresson <mattias.thuresson@mbox300.swipnet.se>

Prolific science-fiction author. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he retired, disabled, in 1934. Began writing science fiction in 1939. Winner of four Hugo Awards. Guest commentator for the 1969 Apollo 11 lunar landing. Recipient of the Grand Master Nebula Award for lifetime achievement.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Fenwick <scf@rahul.net>

Spouse (2)

Virginia Doris Gerstenfeld (21 October 1948 - 8 May 1988) (his death)
Leslyn MacDonald (28 March 1932 - 14 August 1947) (divorced)

Trivia (6)

When writing short stories he was so prolific that he would sometimes have two or even three stories in the same magazine issue. To disguise this, at most one was published under his own name. His most frequent pseudonym was Anson McDonald (his middle name with his then wife Leslyn's maiden name). He was also published as Lyle Monroe, John Riverside, Caleb Saunders, and Simon York.
Attended school with Sally Rand.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 404-406. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
Science Fiction author Larry Niven wrote a short story in which Heinlein never leaves the Navy, and achieves the rank of Admiral.
Robert A. Heinlein's first book was actually the last to be published. After his death a lost manuscript was discovered. "For Us, the Living" (1938?) was written before "Lifeline" but not published until 2003.
His novel "Stranger in a Strange Land" is mentioned in the Billy Joel song "We didn't start the fire". The title of "Stranger in a Strange Land" is based on something Moses says in the Book of Exodus.

Personal Quotes (7)

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch".
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.
Don't cripple your kids by making life too easy for them.
You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.
Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

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