Robert Heinlein is the most enduring and
influential American writer of speculative fiction.
Heinlein published over one hundred
novels, short stories, and articles. He won six Hugo awards, and has
had his work adapted into four movies and five television series.
Fifteen years after his death, most of
his books are still in print in many languages, and his influence can
be clearly seen in the writings of many important authors writing
The most prevalent theme underlying all
his works is the practical benefit of man's activities in space.
Though he never turned a blind eye to the terrible costs or the
negative aspects of technological growth, he had a clear vision of its
importance to human progress and human survivability.
A large portion of his writings were
published long before Neil Armstrong first set foot upon the Moon. He
wrote against prevailing opinions of the time that declared such an
endeavor was both impractical and impossible.
Many of those who grew up reading his
stories have gone on to make significant progress in man's expansion
into space. They're scattered throughout the aerospace industry
worldwide. Many testify today that they were first inspired by Robert
Heinlein and his writings to pursue careers connected to space.
Today, in the Southern Hemisphere of
Mars, is a small terrain feature called the Heinlein Crater,
named in honor of this man who became a much beloved writer, and who
dreamed that humans would some day make their home there, and thrive.
Do you want to know more?
Read biographies of
Robert and Virginia Heinlein at the Heinlein Society
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 advisor, 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.