The Board of Directors of The National Book Foundation proudly bestows the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters upon Ray Bradbury, whose life work has proclaimed the incalculable value of reading; the perils of censorship; and the vital importance of building a better, more beautiful future for ourselves and our children through self-knowledge, education, and creative, life-affirming attentiveness and risk-taking.
These values are the bedrock of The National Book Foundation. Our mission is to promote the reading and appreciation of great American literature among audiences across the country.
Novelist, short-story writer, essayist, playwright, children's book author, screenwriter, and poet, 80-year-old Ray Bradbury was first published in 1938, when his story "Hollerbochen's Dilemma" appeared in Imagination!, an amateur fan magazine. His reputation as a leading science fiction writer was established with the publication of The Martian Chronicles in 1950.
Since then, other "crown jewels" in the Bradbury oeuvre include The Illustrated Man (1951), Fahrenheit 451 (1953), Dandelion Wine (1957), and Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962). Among his numerous awards are the O. Henry Memorial Award, an Emmy Award (for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree), the PEN Center West Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Grand Master Nebula Award from The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Mr. Bradbury lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Maggie. He continues to be active, writing and lecturing, reminding us that "While art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all."
Author photo by Tom Victor.
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