Isaac Asimov, a renowned writer of Science Fiction, mystery, and most other forms
of literature, is considered by many to be one of the best writers of all time. In this
paper you will learn of this great writers past, of his works, awards, family, awards and
Isaac Asimov was born in Petrovichi, a town in the former Soviet Union, in 1920.
His parents were Jodah Asimov and Anna Rachel Berman Asimov. A year after he was born,
his mother gave birth to another child, whom they named Maria (help).
The Asimovs lived in the Soviet Union for three years, until they moved to New York,
New York, USA. They settled down in the house at 425 Van Ciclen Avenue. The Asimovs
lived there for two years until Isaac's father saved up enough money from various jobs
to buy a candy store.
In 1925 they moved to 434 Miller Avenue, which was just down the street from 425 Van
Ciclen Avenue. In 1928, Anna Asimov bore a child. They named him Stanly. Soon after his
birth, Jodah sold his candy store and bought a new one, bringing his family with him to
651 Essex Street.
The Asimovs remained there for five years, until Jodah once again sold his candy store
and moved once again. For three years they lived at 1312 Decatour Street. For the third
time in 12 years, Jodah sold his candy shop. He bought a new one at174 Windslore Place
and settled his family down in a house across the street from it.
Aside from writing, Asimov had three other sources of income throughout his life.
In 1948, a year after his graduation, he was invited to become a professor of
biochemistry at Boston University School of Science. He accepted, although what puzzled
him most about this job though, could be best put in his own words.
"I didn't feel impelled to tell them that I'd never had any biochemistry (seiler)"
He taught there until 1958.
Before teaching, from 1929-1941 he worked at his parents candy store. He stopped
working in 1941 due to the Second World War. Although he may not have known, working at
the store had helped lay the groundwork for his education.
Young Isaac excelled in school. He went through an excelled education, graduating from
the New York school system at the age of fifteen. He was accepted to New York City
College, where shortly afterwards he received a scholarship to Seth Low Junior College,
an extension of Columbia University. After a year of schooling, Seth closed. Asimov was
sent to the main Columbia University campus in Boston, MA. Asimov graduated with his P.S
in 1939, received his MA in 1941, and later returned to get his Ph.D. in 1948.
When the United States entered World War II, Asimov was assigned to the New York Naval
Experimental Station. There, he did naval testing and flew for the first time of his
life. They were testing different pilot suits to see how well the downed pilots could be
seen from a ship. Asimov readily volunteered to fly, even though he had a fear of heights.
The second and last time Asimov flew was from his post in Hawaii back to the
United States mainland. He had been assigned to Oahu, Hawaii earlier in the war after
leaving the New York Naval Experimental Station. Fortunately for Asimov, his post in
Hawaii had seen little action, so he returned unwounded.
Before the war in 1941, Asimov wrote Nightfall, which critics believe to be the
best short science fiction story ever. Asimov also is the man responsible for the three
laws of robots. They are:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through in-action, allow a human being
to come to harm
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by a human unless it conflicts with the
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict
with the first or second laws.
These laws were the base for all of Asimov's robot books. A common question is if these
laws should be applied to today's artificial intelligence. The answer is no.
In present times, the making of artificial intelligence is a slow, lengthily, process.
The laws of robots were supposed to be for when mankind woke up one day and the entire
programming scheme for artificial intelligence came to mind. Therefore, they had to come
up with a way to retain control of an intelligence that was as smarter that the entire
Another of Asimov's famous works is the foundation series. Foundation takes place in
the far future, beginning in the last millenium of the largest human empire ever, the
galactic empire. Foreseeing the fall of the galactic empire, A psychologist, Hari Seldon,
created two foundations on opposite sides of the galaxy to prevent the several thousand
generations of human sufferings that were to follow.
One was to be public, for the galaxy to know about and to keep the technology. Knowing
that history repeats itself unless masses of people suddenly change, he left messages
of himself in a time vault. In it were instructions, as he did not want the scientists
of the foundation to know about before hand, as it might interfere with his predictions.
The other was secret. It was meant to deal with any conflicts that might come up. This
institute was a vital part when a mutant used his special powers to change the mind of
others. This altered the thinking of large numbers of people, so all of the psychologists
prediction, based on how history repeats itself, became off target.
Asimov didn't start out with genious skills though. At the age of 11, his father bought
him his first typewriter. "Marooned off Vesta, " Asimov's first published article was
rejected twice in 1938. It was finally published by Astounding Science Fiction in early
1939. Asimov's first published book was "Pebble in the Sky." It was, like Marooned off
Vista," science fiction.
Since his early writings, he has earned many rewards. Asimov finds to that to
his disbelief, he gets more money from what he doesn't like than what he likes. Most of
his awards are for science fiction books.
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Nichols, Lewis. "Isaac Asimov, man of 7,560,000 words." New York Times. 14 Nov. 2000.
Seiler, Edward and J.H. Jenkins. "Frequently Asked Questions On Isaac Asimov." Clark.net.
13 Nov. 2000. .
Wojtowicz, Slavek. "Dr. Isaac Asimov Talks With Slavek Wojtowicz." interstat.net.
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