1984 Brigham Young University recorded thirteen stories by Ray Bradbury, which was broadcast on National Public
Radio. The writing was the best of a classic author and the host was one of radio's most distinctive voices:
Paul Frees. Paul Frees had a long career announcing for tv, radio, and film. He played the newsman in the film War
Of The Worlds (1953 film), and The 27th Day. It was his serious low voice (the same one he used to introduce
Escape) that was used to host Bradbury 13. He would raise philosophical questions and then offer the story as a
possible answer. Paul Frees died just two years later in 1986. It was one of his last and most unforgettable
contributions to radio drama.
Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. He was given the middle name "Douglas,
after the actor, Douglas Fairbanks. In 1934, the Bradbury family moved to Los Angeles, California. Ray Bradbury
often roller-skated through Hollywood, trying to spot celebrities. He befriended other talented and creative people,
like special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen and radio star George Burns. It was George Burns who gave Ray
Bradbury his first pay as a writer -- for contributing a joke to the Burns & Allen Show.
Two of his teachers recognized a great talent in Ray Bradbury, and encouraged his development as a writer.
Snow Longley Housh taught him about poetry and Jeannet Johnson taught him to write short stories. Over 60 years
later, Bradbury's work bears the indelible impressions left by these two women.
In 1946, he met his future wife, Marguerite "Maggie" McClure. Maggie was working as a clerk in a bookshop when
they met. Ray and Maggie were married in the Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal in Los Angeles on
September 27, 1947. Ray Harryhausen served as the best man. They had four daughters, Susan, Ramona, Bettina
Ray Bradbury's work has won innumerable honors and awards, including the O. Henry Memorial Award, the
Benjamin Franklin Award (1954), the Aviation-Space Writer's Association Award for Best Space Article in an
American Magazine (1967), the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Grand Master Award
from the Science Fiction Writers of America. His work was also included in the Best American Short Stories
collections for 1946, 1948 and 1952. Ray Bradbury's most unusual honor came from the Apollo astronaut who
named Dandelion Crater after Bradbury's novel, Dandelion Wine.
|Ray Bradbury is one of those rare individuals whose writing has
changed the way people think. His more than five hundred
published works -- short stories, novels, plays, screenplays,
television scripts, and verse -- exemplify the American
imagination at its most creative.