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Isaac Asimov was an American author and biochemist, a highly successful and prolific writer of science fiction and of science books for the layperson. He wrote and edited about 500 volumes, of which the most famous are those in the Foundation and robot series.
See the fact file below for more information on the Isaac Asimov or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Isaac Asimov worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Early Life and Education
- Born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi, Russia.
- He was the son of Judah Asimov and Anna Asimov who immigrated to the United States when Isaac was three, settling into the East New York part of Brooklyn. Around this time, the family name was changed to ‘Asimov’.
- Growing up in Brooklyn, Isaac’s childhood was spent helping and looking after candy shops his father owned, and developing his passion for reading.
- Having taught himself to read by the age of 5, he had explored all the libraries within his reach and was a perfect description of the term ‘bookworm’.
- Asimov finished his secondary education at 15 to enter Columbia University where he earned his degree in Chemistry in 1939 and went on to get his masters and doctorate from the same institution in 1948.
- A year later, he accepted the opportunity as a lecturer at Boston University School of Medicine where he was made an associate professor of biochemistry in 1955.
- He eventually became a full time professor by the late 1970s, though by that time he had given up full time teaching to do occasional lectures.
- Asimov was married twice, first to Gertrude Blugerman in 1942 with whom he had two children. They separated in 1970 which led to a divorce in 1973.
- In the same year, he tied the knot again with Janet Opal Jeppson, a psychoanalyst and writer for the Norby Chronicles, a science fiction novel for young readers, in collaboration with Isaac.
- Yet even with his exemplary academic credentials, writing for general readers was to be Professor Asimov’s passion. His literary career started when his contributions to science fiction magazines was published. Asimov’s first short story, Marooned Off Vesta, was published in Amazing Stories in 1939.
- Night Fall, a short story Asimov wrote in 1941 proved to be his jumpspring to literary success. The story is based on a planet where night appears only once in every 2049 years. Till now, it is considered by some to be the best science fiction short story ever to surface.
- Years later, he published his first book in 1950, the sci-fi novel Pebble in the Sky, the first in a line of titles that would mark a highly prolific writing career.
- An influential vision came with another 1950 release, the story collection I, Robot, which looked at human/construct relationships and featured the Three Laws of Robotics or the rules and ethics for artificially intelligent machines. Asimov would later be credited with coming up with the term “robotics.”
- I, Robot is a collection of nine short stories that imagines the development of humanlike, with a form of artificial intelligence robots and wrestles with the moral implications of the technology.
- The year 1951 saw the release of his most famous work named Foundation, which looked at the end of the Galactic Empire and a statistical method of predicting outcomes known as “psychohistory”.
- The story was followed by two more installations, Foundation and Empire (1952) and Second Foundation (1953), with the series continuing into the 1980s.
- Some other noted fictional works by Isaac Asimov include The Stars, like Dust (1951), The Currents of Space (1952), The Caves of Steel (1954), The Naked Sun (1957), Earth Is Room Enough (1957), Foundation’s Edge (1982), and The Robots of Dawn (1983).
- Asimov was also known for writing books on a wide variety of subjects outside of science fiction, taking on topics like astronomy, biology, math, religion, and literary biography.
- A small sample of notable titles include The Human Body (1963), Asimov’s Guide to the Bible (1969), the mystery Murder at the AB A (1976), and his 1979 autobiography, In Memory Yet Green.
- Furthermore, in addition to writing two autobiographies, Asimov also published the quarterly Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine which was founded by Davis Magazines.
Last Years and Legacy
- Asimov spent most of his later years in solitude, working on manuscripts and having to be persuaded by family to take breaks and vacations. By December 1984, he had written 300 books, ultimately writing nearly 500.
- Isaac Asimov died in New York City on April 6, 1992, at the age of 72, from heart and kidney failure. He had dealt privately with a diagnosis of AIDS, which he had accidentally contracted from a blood transfusion during a bypass surgery.
- Over the course of his career, Asimov won several Hugo and Nebula Awards, as well as received accolades from science institutions. He hoped his ideas would live on past his death, and his wish has come to fruition, with the world continuing to contemplate his literary and scientific legacies.
Isaac Asimov Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Isaac Asimov across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Isaac Asimov worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Isaac Asimov who was an American author and biochemist, a highly successful and prolific writer of science fiction and of science books for the layperson. He wrote and edited about 500 volumes, of which the most famous are those in the Foundation and robot series.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Authors Online
- The Originators
- Isaac Says
- We, Humanists
- Marooned Off Vesta
- Robot Film Quest
- Build Your Own Bot
- Robot Nation Invasion
- Laws of Robotics
- Everyday Machines
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Use With Any Curriculum
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