Douglas Adams biography

Douglas Adams

Novelist, Author

1952 – 2001


Who was Douglas Adams?

Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer, humorist, and dramatist.

Adams is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold more than 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and in 2005 a feature film. Adams's contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy's Hall of Fame.

Adams also wrote Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff, The Deeper Meaning of Liff, Last Chance to See, and three stories for the television series Doctor Who. A posthumous collection of his work, including an unfinished novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

Adams became known as an advocate for environmentalism and conservation, and also as a lover of fast cars, cameras, technological innovation, and the Apple Macintosh. He was a staunch atheist, famously imagining a sentient puddle who wakes up one morning and thinks, "This is an interesting world I find myself in—an interesting hole I find myself in—fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" to demonstrate his view that the fine-tuned Universe argument for God was a fallacy. Biologist Richard Dawkins dedicated his book The God Delusion to Adams, writing on his death that "Science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender."

Famous Quotes:

  • Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others…
  • I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.
  • We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.
  • The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that…
  • In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
  • Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is…
  • A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
  • I am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my computer…
  • In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.
  • Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Douglas Adams." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <>.

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Mar 11, 1952
Also known as
  • Douglas Noel Adams
  • Douglas N. Adams
  • DNA
  • David Agnew
  • Douglas
  • Douglas Addams
  • Atheism
  • Caucasian race
  • England
  • Brentwood School
    (1959 - 1970)
  • Bachelor of Arts, St John's College, Cambridge
    English Literature
    (1971 - 1974)
  • University of Cambridge
  • Creative Director, The Digital Village
    (1994 - 2001)
Lived in
  • Brentwood
    (1957 - )
  • Cambridge
    (1952 - 1957)
  • Santa Barbara
    ( - 2001/05/11)
  • London
May 11, 2001
Santa Barbara
Resting place
Highgate Cemetery

on July 23, 2013

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