Author Ray Bradbury, whose novel "Fahrenheit 451" is still taught across the nation, has died at the age of 91. Bradbury's writings and influence earned him many honors throughout his life, including the National Medal of Arts and a special citation from the Pulitzer board.
- (Photo: Twitter/Ray Bradbury)
Bradbury's specialty was the science-fiction genre, though he adamantly refused to be labeled as a sci-fi author.
"First of all, I don't write science fiction," he told the Weekly Alibi in 1999. "I've only done one science fiction book and that's 'Fahrenheit 451' based on reality. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal."
Throughout his life, Bradbury won acclaim for his writing and imagination, yet he spoke very rarely about his personal beliefs. In 2010, he finally opened up and told CNN that he considered himself a "delicatessen religionist" influenced by both Eastern and Western religions.
One thing is certain, though: Bradbury gave full credit to God for all of his success.
"I sit there and cry because I haven't done any of this [writing]. It's a God-given thing, and I'm so grateful, so, so grateful. The best description of my career as a writer is 'At play in the fields of the Lord.'"
"At the center of religion is love," Bradbury explained. "I love you and I forgive you. I am like you and you are like me. I love all people. I love the world. I love creating. Everything in our life should be based on love."
That message was carried throughout his writings and even into his speeches at various events.
"If someone tells you to do something for money, tell them to go to hell," he said at a 2009 lecture in California. "Do what you love and love what you do."