|Born||in Petrovichi, Klimovichi, Gomel Governorate, RSFSR [now Smolensk Oblast, Russia]|
|Died||in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA (heart and kidney failure related to AIDS)|
|Birth Name||Isaak Judah Ozimov|
|Nickname||The Human Typewriter|
|Height||5' 9" (1.75 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Judah Ozimov, on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi shtetl, near Smolensk, Russia. He was the oldest of three children. His father, named Judah Ozimov, and his mother, named Anna Rachel Ozimov (nee Berman), were Orthodox Jews. Ozimov family were millers (the name Ozimov comes from the eponymous sort of wheat in Russian). In 1923 Isaac with his parents immigrated to the USA and settled in Brooklyn, New York. There his parents temporarily changed his birthday to September 7, 1919, in order to send him to school a year earlier. Their family name was changed from Ozimov to Asimov.
Asimov was an avid reader before the age of 5. He spoke Yiddish and English at home with his parents and spoke only a few word in Russian. He began his formal education in 1925 in the New York Public School system. From 1930-1932 he was placed in the rapid advance course. In 1935 he graduated from high school, in 1939 received a B.S. and in 1941 he earned his M. Sc. in Chemistry from Columbia University. From 1942-1945 Asimov was a chemist at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard's Naval Air experimental station. After the war ended, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was transfered to the island of Oahu and was destined to participate in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946. He narrowly avoided that by receiving an honorable discharge in May 1946. In 1948 he completed his post-graduate studies and earned his Ph. D. in Chemistry. In 1949 he began his teaching career at the Medical School of Boston University, becoming assistant professor in 1951, and associate professor in 1955. In 1958 Asimov became a full-time writer and gave up his teaching duties because his income from his literary works was much greater than his professor's salary. He was fired, but he retained his title and later returned as a lecturer and was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1979. Asimov was considered one of the best lecturers at Boston University.
Young Isaac Asimov was raised as a non-religious person. His parents observed the Orthodox Judaism, but did not force their belief upon young Asimov. He did not have affiliation with a temple, did not have a bar mizvah and called himself an atheist, then used the term "humanist" in his later life. He did not oppose genuine religious convictions in others but opposed superstitious or unfounded beliefs. Asimov defined his intellectual position as a Humanist and rationalist. He opposed the Vietnam war in the 1960s and was a supporter of the Democratic party. He embraced environmental issues, and supported feminism, joking that he wished women to be free "because I hate it when they charge". He was also humorous about many of his memberships in various clubs and foundations. Asimov did not approve exclusionary societies, he left Mensa after he found that many of the members were arrogant. He liked individuality and stayed in groups where he enjoyed giving speeches. As a free thinker, Asimov saw sci-fi literature serving as a pool where ideas and hypotheses are expressed with unrestricted intellectual freedom.
Young Asimov was fascinated with science fiction magazines which were sold at his parent's general store. Around the age of 11 he wrote eight chapters of a fiction about adventures of young boys in a small town. His first publication was "Marooned Off Vesta" in the Amazing Stories magazine in 1939. Asimov shot to fame in 1941 with 'Nightfall', a story of a planet where night comes once every 2049 years. 'Nightfall' has been described as one of the best science fiction stories ever written. Asimov wrote over five hundred literary works. He is credited for introducing the words "positronic", "psychohistory", and "robotics" into the English language. He penned such classics as "I, Robot" and the "Foundation" series, which are considered to be the most impressive of his writings. He also founded "Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine", which became a best-selling publication.
Asimov was afraid of needles and the sight of blood. Although he had the highest score on the intelligence test he had the lowest score on the physical-conditioning test. He never learned how to swim or ride a bicycle. The author who described spaceflights suffered from fear of flying. In his entire life he had to fly only twice during his military service. Acrophobia was revealed when he took his date and first love on a roller coaster in 1940, and was terrified. This phobia complicated the logistics and limited the range over which he traveled; it also found reflection in some of his literary works. He avoided traveling long distances. Instead he enjoyed cruise ships like the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, where he occasionally entertained passengers with his science-themed talks. He impressed public with his highly entertaining speeches as well as with his sharp sense of timing; he never looked at the clock, but he spoke for precisely the time allocated. Asimov's sense of time prevented him from ever being late to a meeting. Once he discovered that his parents changed his date of birth, he insisted that the official records of his birthday be corrected to January 2, 1920, the date he personally celebrated throughout his life.
Asimov met Gertrude Blugherman on a blind date on Valentine's Day in February of 1942, they got married in July of the same year. The Asimovs had two children, son David (born in 1951), and daughter Robyn Joan (born in 1955). Asimov had known Janet Opal Jeppson since 1959. She was a psychoanalyst and also a writer of science fiction for children. Correspondence with her convinced Asimov that she was the right kind of person for him. He and Gertrude were separated in 1970, and he moved in with Janet Jappeson almost at once. His first marriage ended in divorce in 1973. That same year he and Janet Jeppson were married at Janet's home by an official of Ethical Culture Society. Asimov had no children by his second marriage.
In 1983 Asimov contracted HIV infection from a tainted blood transfusion received during a triple bypass surgery. He eventually developed AIDS and wanted to go public about his AIDS but his doctors convinced Asimov to remain silent. The specific cause of death was heart and renal failure as complications of AIDS. He died on April 6, 1992, in Boston, Massachussets, and was cremated. His ashes were scattered.
Ten years after Asimov's death, his widow, Janet Jeppson Asimov, revealed that his death was a consequence of an unfortunately contracted AIDS.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov
Janet Jeppson (30 November 1973 -
6 April 1992) (his death)
Gertrude Blugerman (26 July 1942 - 16 November 1973) (divorced) (2 children)