Isaac Asimov

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Asimov, Isaac

(ăz`əmŏf), 1920–92, American author and scientist, b. Petrovichi, USSR, grad. Columbia (B.S., 1939; M.A., 1941; Ph.D., 1948). An astonishingly prolific author, he wrote over 400 books. He first became prominent as a writer of such science fiction as I, Robot (1950, repr. 1970), The Caves of Steel (1954), and his most famous novel, The Foundation Trilogy (1951–53), which chronicled the fall of the Galactic Empire. The trilogy was later supplemented by novel prequels and sequels published in the 1980s and 90s including the sequel Foundation's Edge (1982). He was also a great popularizer of science. His works in this field include The Intelligent Man's Guide to Science (2 vol., rev. ed. 1965), The Stars in Their Courses (1971), and Did Comets Kill the Dinosaurs? (1987). In his later years he wrote on a diverse number of subjects, including guides to the Bible (1968–69) and Shakespeare (1970).


See his memoirs In Memory Yet Green (1979) and In Joy Still Felt (1981); study by J. Fiedler and J. Mele (1982).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Asimov, Isaac


Born Jan. 2, 1920, in Petrovichi, Byelorussian SSR. American writer.

Asimov’s family emigrated from the USSR to the USA in 1923. Asimov was graduated from Columbia University and is a biochemist by training. For his investigations in biochemistry he was awarded a doctorate. His first published story was Marooned off Vesta (1939). His first novel—I, Robot, in which the main characters are androids—was published in 1950. The 1955 philosophic novel The End of Eternity deals with the time travel of the technocratic scientists who rule society. Asimov has written numerous books on physiology, mathematics, physics, and chemistry for young readers; his popular scientific works include the essay on biogenetics Life and Energy (1962), A Short History of Biology (1965, translated into Russian in 1967), The Neutrino (1966), and an essay on the major concepts and ideas of astronomy, The Universe (1966, translated into Russian in 1969).


In Russian translation:
Konets vechnosti. Moscow, 1966.
Ia—robot. Moscow, 1964.
Vid s vysoty. Moscow, 1965.
Put’ marsian. Moscow, 1966.
“Obnazhennoe solntse.” Prostor, 1969, nos. 1–4.


Buchanan, J. T. “Amerikanskaia nauchnaia fantastika.” V zashchitu mira, 1959, no. 97.
Gromova, A. “Kak postroit’ mir.” Inostr. lit-ra, 1967, no. 1.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Asimov, Isaac

(1920–92) writer, scientist; born in Petrovichi, Russia. He came to New York City at age three. A Columbia Ph.D., he taught biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine after 1949. He was an author, lecturer, and broadcaster of legendary prolificacy and astonishing range, but is most admired as a popularizer of science (The Collapsing Universe (1977)) and a science fiction writer (I, Robot (1950)), The Foundation Trilogy (1951–53)). He coined the term "robotics."
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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