Ray Bradbury—the fantasy and science fiction author whose works provided the inspiration for such films and television shows as Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury Theater, and various episodes of The Twilight Zone—has died.  He was 91.

The daughter of the revered fantasy and sci-fi author announced his death after “a lengthy illness” on Wednesday morning to the Associated Press, stating that he passed away on Tuesday night in Southern California.

Bradbury was the mind behind nearly 30 novels and short story compendiums.  His most famous works—Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Martian Chronicles—not only helped elevate the genre of science fiction into “the realm of literature” and serious art, they also provided the template for a series of classic science fiction films and television.

Ray Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois, to parents Leonard Spualding Bradbury and Esther Marie Moberg-Bradbury.  About his birth, he stated that “when I was born in 1920 the auto was only 20 years old.  Radio didn’t exist.  TV didn’t exist.  I was born at just the right time to write about all these things.”

The L.A. Times features a statement from UC Irvine physics professor (and Nebula Award-winning science fiction writer) Gregory Benford that sums up Bradbury’s achievement as succinctly as you’re like to hear today:  “The only figure comparable to mention would be [Robert A.] Heinlein and then later [Arthur C.] Clarke…But Bradbury, in the ‘40s and ‘50s, became the name brand.”

What is your favorite Bradbury work?