Robert A. Heinlein

Novelist, Author

1907 – 1988


Who was Robert A. Heinlein?

Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre in his time. He set a standard for scientific and engineering plausibility, and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality.

He was one of the first science fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science fiction novelists for many decades, and he, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke are often considered to be the "Big Three" of science fiction authors.

A notable writer of science fiction short stories, Heinlein was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship of John W. Campbell, Jr. in his Astounding Science Fiction magazine—though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree.

Within the framework of his science fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.

Famous Quotes:

  • If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.
  • You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.
  • A "critic" is a man who creates nothing ...
  • Money is truthful. If a man speaks of honor, make him pay cash.
  • Learning isn't a means to an end; it is an end in itself.
  • To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer.
  • Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
  • A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.
  • Belief gets in the way of learning.
  • A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, cone a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

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Jul 7, 1907
Also known as
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Robert Anson Heinlein
  • Robert A Heinlein
  • Robert A. HeinLein
  • R.A. Heinlein
  • Heinlein, Robert A.
  • Anson MacDonald
  • Lyle Monroe
  • John Riverside
  • Caleb Saunders
  • United States of America
  • United States Naval Academy
  • Central Academy of Excellence
  • University of Missouri
  • University of California, Los Angeles
Lived in
  • California
May 8, 1988

on July 23, 2013


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