Robert A. Heinlein™ is an enduring and influential American writer of speculative fiction. Heinlein published over 150 novels, short stories, and articles, won six Hugo awards, and has had his work adapted to movies and television. Most of his books are still in print in many languages, and his influence can be seen in the writings of authors today.
The most prevalent theme underlying his works is the practical benefit of man’s activities in space. Though he never turned a blind eye to the costs, he had a clear vision of their importance to human progress and survival. He wrote in the face of prevailing opinions of the time that declared such endeavors to be impractical and impossible.
Many of those who grew up reading his stories have gone on to make significant progress toward man’s expansion into space. Many throughout the aerospace industry worldwide testify that they were first inspired by Heinlein to pursue careers connected to space.
Today, in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars, is a small feature called the Heinlein
Crater, named in honor of this much beloved writer, who dreamed that humans would some day make their home there, and thrive.
Virginia Heinlein graduated from New York University in 1937 and worked as a Chemist until the outbreak of World War II. She enlisted as a lieutenant in the US Navy serving first at the Bureau of Aeronautics, then at the Naval Air Experimental Station in Philadelphia. There she met Robert Heinlein and worked as his assistant on several classified developmental projects.
After World War II, she came to Los Angeles to study biochemistry. She married Robert Heinlein in 1948. Thereafter, the two were inseparable. Those who knew them spoke often of their intense and abiding love for each other. She became his closest companion and adviser, aiding him in his writing.
In 2001, she endowed the Robert Anson Heinlein Chair in Aerospace Engineering at the US Naval Academy.
She also endowed the public library in Robert Heinlein’s birthplace of Butler, Missouri, and helped to found the Heinlein Society, an educational charity dedicated to paying forward to generations to come the many Heinlein legacies.