“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”
Ray Bradbury, author of Farenheit-451, passed away Tuesday night, June 4, in California. He was 91.
Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Bradbury was a voracious reader and film buff, and he contributed his talents to not just literature but to theatre, television, movies, and projects like the 1964 World’s Fair and displays at Disney World in Florida.
Bradbury had a passion for libraries, and themes of book censorship appeared in many of his works. Bradbury’s break-through series of stories, The Martian Chronicles, explored the banning of books, while also satirizing racism, capitalism, and Cold War tensions; in Farenheit-451, firefighters begin burning stacks of books instead of extinguishing fires. Throughout his long life, he continued to support libraries. Although he first resisted ebooks, he eventually agreed to let his publisher Simon & Schuster create an electronic version of Farenheit-451 only if it was available to libraries. At the time, it was the first and only Simon & Schuster ebook downloadable in libraries.
Rest in peace, Mr. Bradbury.