Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was one of the 20th century’s most prolific writers, who wrote nearly 500 books writing in many genres. He was best known for his science fiction works like Foundation and I, Robot. Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime.

Asimov was born on the 2nd January, 1920, in Petrovichi, Russia as Isaak Yudovick Ozimov. He immigrated with his family to the United States whilst he was still a young child settling into the East New York section of Brooklyn. Isaac Asimov was fond of learn. He graduated from high school at 15 years of age to enter University of Columbia where he studied Science and completed his Bachelor degree in 1939 and went on to get his M.A. and Ph.D from the same institution. He married Gertrude Blugerman in 1942.

He published his first novel, Pebble in the Sky, in 1950 and soon followed with a story collection I, Robot, which would be later adapted for the movie starring Will Smith.
Asimov would later be credited with coming up with the term “robotics). I Robot looked at human relationships and featured the Three Laws of Robotics. In a book published in 1984 Isaac Asimov spoke about the origins of the three laws and when they were first published.  “I wrote a robot story entitled “Runaround,” (part of a series of 8 short stories known as Foundation published between 1942 and 1950) which was first published in the March 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, in which I recited for the first time, my Three Laws of Robotics.”

1. A robot may not harm a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.

Asimov was known for writing books on a wide variety of subjects outside of science fiction. He wrote on topics including astronomy, biology, math, religion and literary biography. He spent most of his time in solitude, working on manuscripts and taking very few breaks or holidays. By December 1984, he had written approximately 300 books, ultimately writing nearly 500. Asimov suffered a heart attack in 1977, and had triple bypass surgery in December 1983. When he died in New York City on April 6, 1992, his brother Stanley reported the cause of death as heart and kidney failure. He was survived by his second wife, Janet, and his children from his first marriage.


Further reading Robots and Robotics History

For a list of Isaac Asimov’s books, click here


Adapted from Isaac Asimov. [Internet]. 2014. The website. Available [Accessed 14 Oct 2014].