January 2 - Isaac Asimov

Bio: Asimov’s actual birthdate is uncertain, though he always celebrated it on January 2nd — he was born in 1920. He was a professor of biochemistry at Boston University and published over 500 volumes of work as well as voluminous letters and other papers. During his lifetime, Asimov was considered one of the “Big Three” of hard sci fi. He is probably most well known for his Robot and Foundation series. After an extremely productive life, Asimov died in 1992 as a result of complications from HIV, which he had contracted from a blood transfusion during a bypass surgery. He is the recipient of multiple Nebula, Hugo, and Locus awards, and has 14 honorary doctorate degrees. An asteroid (5020 Asimov) and a crater on Mars are named in his honor.

Anecdotes:

  • Asimov was not a heavy drinker; one or two drinks was enough to get him tipsy. When he passed his oral examination for his Ph.D., he drank five celebratory Manhattans and his friends had to carry him back to school. He spent that entire night in bed giggling and saying 'Doctor Asimov.’”
  • Every day he woke at 6am, sat down to work by 7:30am, and wrote until 10pm.
  • He was physically uncoordinated and never learned to swim, or ride a bike.
  • "Asimov discovered that he was acrophobic at the New York World’s Fair in 1940, when he took his date and first love Irene on a roller coaster, expecting that it would cause her to cling to him in fear and give him a chance to kiss her. Instead it was he who was terrified while his date remained perfectly calm.”
  • Asimov was very fond of enclosed spaces and worked in small rooms with no windows, and artificial lighting.
  • He despised nicknames, except for a few very old friends who were allowed to call him Ike.
  • Though of Jewish heritage, Asimov was an atheist and considered himself a humanist.

Final sentences:

Let my successors solve those new problems, as I have solved the one of today.

From Foundation

He left them, never looking back.

From Foundation and Empire

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Posted by aubade
  










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    January 2 - Isaac Asimov Asimov’s actual birthdate is uncertain, though he always celebrated it on January 2nd — he was...
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