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Today in History with Eva Halloween

January 2, 1920: Science fiction legend Isaac Asimov is born.

isaacasimov

On this day in history in 1920, science fiction luminary, educator, and humorist Isaac Asimov was born. Considered one of the three great masters of science fiction and author of the foundational Three Laws of Robotics, Asimov was also one of the world’s most prolific writers, credited with publishing more than 500 books and as many as 90,000 letters, postcards, and pamphlets in his lifetime.  In honor of the 93rd anniversary of his birth, here’s 13 facts you didn’t know about Isaac Asimov.

  1. Worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard’s Experimental Air Station during World War II alongside fellow sci fi legends L. Sprague de Camp and Robert A. Heinlein.
  2. Met his first wife on a blind date on Valentine’s Day, 1942. They were married five and a half months later.
  3. Credited with introducing the words positronic and robotics into the English language.
  4. Was afraid of flying, needles and the sight of blood, but enjoyed small, enclosed spaces.
  5. The archive of his personal papers at Boston University takes up 464 boxes on 232 feet of shelf space.
  6. A life-long Gilbert and Sullivan fan, Asimov was known to show off his own signing voice at public events.
  7. His father owned several candy stores in Brooklyn. The stores were open from 6 AM to 1 AM, seven days a week.
  8. In addition to his work in science fiction, Asimov wrote volumes of non-fiction on topics ranging from Shakespeare, Milton, astronomy, mathematics, the Bible, chemistry, and history. He is published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System.
  9. Taught himself to read at age 5, wrote his first story at 11, finished high school at 16, and was published at 19.
  10. Died in 1992 from complications of AIDS after contracting HIV from an infected blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery nine years earlier.
  11. After all five of Asimov’s applications for medical school were rejected, he was initially rejected from the graduate program in chemistry at Columbia as well. He went on to complete an MA in chemistry in 1941 and a PhD in biochemistry in 1948.
  12. His daily routine included sitting down at the typewriter by 7:30 AM and working until 10:00 PM each night. He completed over 100 books from 1978 – 1984 alone.
  13. Wrote several compilations of dirty limericks, beginning with Lecherous Limericks in 1975.

And because I love you, you know I wouldn’t leave you without at least one naughty limerick, this one written by Mr. Asimov himself.  Enjoy!

There was a sweet girl of Decatur
Who went to sea on a freighter.
She was screwed by the master
– An utter disaster –
But the crew all made up for it later.

About The Author

20 Comments

  1. Acadia Einstein

    Technically teaching yourself to read is easy if you don’t care what the words actually mean.

    Yelbop. Krantz.

    Reply
    • angie potter

      Go yelbop yourself!

      Reply
    • Eva Halloween

      This explains so very much about the Gallery.

      Reply
  2. Rog

    Wait, science? When did this turn into a brain site?

    Reply
    • Eva Halloween

      Now really. I clearly met my contractual requirement for gratuitous sexual references and/or pictures of boobs. Everybody wins!

      Reply
  3. Dydan Waters

    I did not know he died from AIDS. Sad. 🙁

    Reply
    • Eva Halloween

      The family only disclosed the information a few years ago – an interesting snapshot of how HIV/AIDS was still viewed by the public in the early 90’s.

      Reply
  4. Bobbi Jo Woods (@beejereeno)

    Awesome blog post, not a geek myself, so this was interesting, but the thing I really liked about it was the dirty limericks. Never knew that. Now I have a reason to like him 😛

    Reply
    • Eva Halloween

      He was also the All-Time World Champion Mutton Chop Wearer, which must count for something.

      Reply
  5. elssar

    First article on this site which is worth reading! Gratz 😛

    Reply
    • Eva Halloween

      Consider the gauntlet dropped, OTHER GALLERY WRITERS.

      Reply
      • Cornmeal

        My heart is broken. See? Oh wait, no it isn’t. Nevermind. Carry on.

        Reply
  6. Dan Brill

    I taught myself to read as I emerged from the womb and introduced the word “the” to the world.

    Reply
  7. Ami B.

    He looks like an elderly, hairy Ewan McGregor in that picture.

    Reply
    • Eva Halloween

      *squints*

      A lot of eggnog in your house this season, Ms. B?

      Reply
  8. alex

    What a great idea for a “today in history” post. Asimov was one of my boyhood heroes.

    Reply
  9. Stacy

    Dad. Is that you?

    Reply
  10. N J Marsh

    It’s like a kalidescope!

    Reply
  11. PelvicBoogie

    He looks like Wolverine, if you sucked all the coolmantium out of his body.

    Reply

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