Ir al contenido principal

Mysteries of Isaac Asimov's Life

Isaac Asimov was one of the 20th century's most prolific writers, writing in many genres. He was mostly known for sci-fi works like "Foundation" and "I, Robot". But even being so famous, he still left a few unsolved mysteries about his life. Foe example: ask Google when his birthday was and it’ll say January 2nd, but the truth is, he chose that date himself so he’d have a day on which to celebrate. He was born sometime between October 4, 1919, and January 2, 1920, in in Petrovichi in Soviet Union, as Isaak Yudovick Ozimov, first of 3 children. There are no accurate records of his birth so nobody, not even his family, really knew the exact date.

The Asimovs, Anna Rachel Berman and Judah Ozimov moved to Brooklyn with young Isaac in 1923, where his father opened a candy store. There was no question Isaac was smart. Judah called upon his son to work in the store as a youngster. Isaac was fond of learning at a young age, having taught himself to read by the age of 5; he learned Yiddish soon after, and graduated from high school at 15 to enter Columbia University. Asimov's interest in science fiction had begun as a boy when he noticed several of the early science fiction magazines for sale on the newsstand in his family's candy store. His father refused to let him read them. But when a new magazine appeared on the scene called Science Wonder Stories, Asimov convinced his father that it was a serious journal of science, and as a result he was allowed to read it. Asimov quickly became a devoted fan of science fiction. He wrote letters to the editors, commenting on stories that had appeared in the magazine, and tried writing stories of his own. Asimov himself said this about his knowledge about literature: "I never read Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Joyce or Kafka. To this day I am a stranger to 20th-century fiction and poetry, and I have no doubt that it shows in my writing."
So, Asimov was shocked by his father's suggestion that he submit his story to the editor in person. But mailing the story would have cost twelve cents while subway fare, round trip, was only ten cents. To save the two cents, he agreed to make the trip to the magazine's office, expecting to leave the story with a secretary. Campbell, however, had invited many young writers to discuss their work with him. When Asimov arrived he was shown into the editor's office. Campbell talked with him for over an hour and agreed to read the story. Two days later Asimov received it back in the mail. It had been rejected, but Campbell offered suggestions for improvement and encouraged the young man to keep trying. This began a pattern that was to continue for several years, with Campbell guiding Asimov through his beginnings as a science fiction writer. His first professionally published story, "Marooned off Vesta," appeared in Amazing Stories in 1938.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1939 and went on to get his M.A. and Ph.D. from the same institution. In 1942, he married Gertrude Blugerman. In 1949, Asimov began a stint at Boston University School of Medicine, where he was hired as an associate professor of biochemistry in 1955.
with Gertrude

They had a nice house in a nice Boston suburb, and along the way they - two babies: David and Robyn. daughter Robin was his clear favorite. Son David is apparently developmentally disabled and lives off of a trust fund his father set up a number of years before he died. He is barely mentioned in the initial autobiography. And in 1998 there was a scandal: Santa Rosa police arrested him after searching his home and discovering what investigators say may be the biggest child pornography collection in Sonoma County history. was sentenced on March 28, 2001 to six months' home detention with electronic monitoring and three years federal probation for possessing child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Maxine M. Chesney sentenced Asimov after reviewing a series of sealed psychiatric reports, one of which was ordered by the court.
with his daughter, Robyn

The Asimovs stayed married through the decade of the 1960s, but that was the end. Isaac was by quite a large margin more interested in sex than Gertrude was. He started having affairs.
He eventually became a professor at the university by the late 1970s, though by that time he'd given up full-time teaching to do occasional lectures. He published his first novel, "Pebble in the Sky", in 1950.

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. (The narrative would be adapted for a blockbuster starring Will Smith decades later.) Asimov would later be credited with coming up with the term "robotics."

The year 1951 saw the release of another seminal work, "Foundation", a novel that 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.
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. He spent most of his time 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.
There was one woman whom Isaac met in that period when his marriage to Gertrudewas crumbling but had not yet got to the stage of a divorce who became both large and permanent in Isaac’s life. She was a New York psychiatrist named Janet Jeppson, who now and then wrote science fiction. Janet and Isaac had once or twice bumped into each other at science-fiction events in the city, but nothing much came of it until they were both present at an annual banquet of the Mystery Writers of America. They found themselves talking mostly to each other, and thereafter Isaac regarded her as a good friend. But his devotion to her grew and once he explained to a freind why she was incontestably the most desirable woman in the world for him, he thought for a moment and then said, “Because Janet has never once failed to make me feel welcome.”
with Janet
Janet Asimov's first published writing was a "mystery short" sold to Hans Stefan Santesson for The Saint Mystery Magazine and appearing in the May 1966 issue. According to Isaac Asimov, Janet Asimov's books that were written in association with him were 90 percent Janet's, and his name was wanted on the books by the publisher "for the betterment of sales".
In 1972, Isaac discovered that there was something going on in his thyroid gland that might well be malignant, requiring dietary changes and medications to take, while Janet found a lump in her breast that was definitely so, requiring surgery.
That made a problem in Isaac’s mind, because he had always admitted that he couldn’t stand the sight of blood or of the visible results of surgery. (That was one of the things that had made his long-ago rejection by the medical schools quite bearable.) He was sure that the removal of one of her breasts would make Janet worry that her body would become repulsive to him.

He was also sure that that could not happen, that no imaginable change in Janet’s physiology could make him love her less. But the person he had to convince was Janet herself. In 1973, the divorce from Gertrude was granted, and then it was less than a week before Janet and Isaac were married.

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'd contracted from a blood transfusion during bypass surgery. He was survived by two children and his second wife, Janet Jeppson. 
Over the course of his career, Asimov won several Hugo and Nebula Awards, as well as received accolades from science institutions. He stated during a televised interview that he hoped his ideas would live on past his death; his wish has come to fruition, with the world continuing to contemplate his literary and scientific legacies.
It was he who conceived of the idea of the positronic brain, brought to life in iconic pop culture shows like Doctor Who, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and of course, the 2004 Will Smith blockbuster I, Robot. He had a lot to say about contemporary life on Earth as well, believing strongly that overpopulation was one of our biggest challenges, that homosexuality was a moral right, and that the survival of our species was tied to the equality of women. Part of ne of the fine example's of his views you can read below: