Asimov Essays Online

Asimov Essays Online-9
From there he went on to Columbia University, from which he graduated in 1939, later returning to earn a Ph. After completing his doctorate, Asimov joined the faculty of the Boston University School of Medicine, with which he remained associated thereafter.From 1958, this was in a non-teaching capacity, as he turned to writing full-time (his writing income had already exceeded his academic salary).Asimov was a long-time member and Vice President of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described the members of that organization as "intellectually combative." He took more joy in being President of the American Humanist Association.

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As noted above, he patiently answered tens of thousands of questions and other mail with postcards, and was pleased to give autographs.

Although he was glad to show his talent, he also rarely seemed to take himself too seriously.

As a tenured associate professor, he kept his position and in 1979 the university honored his writing by promoting him to full professor of biochemistry.

Asimov's personal papers from 1965 on are archived at the university's Mugar Memorial Library, to which he donated them at the request of curator Howard Gottlieb. After a separation in 1970, he and Gertrude divorced in 1973, and Asimov married Janet O. Asimov was a claustrophile; he enjoyed small, enclosed spaces.

His sense of timing was exquisite; he never looked at a clock, but invariably spoke for precisely the time allocated.

Asimov was a frequent fixture at science fiction conventions, where he remained friendly and approachable.He was of medium height, stocky, with muttonchop whiskers and a distinct Brooklyn-Yiddish accent. He never learned how to swim or ride a bicycle; however, he did learn to drive a car after he moved to Boston.In his humor book Asimov Laughs Again, he describes Boston driving as "anarchy on wheels." Asimov's wide interests included his participation in his later years in organizations devoted to the operettas of W. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and in The Wolfe Pack, a group of devotees of the Nero Wolfe mysteries authored by Rex Stout.Since his parents always spoke Yiddish and English with him, he never learned Russian.Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Asimov taught himself to read at the age of five, and remained fluent in Yiddish as well as English.Asimov's family considered disclosing his condition after he died, but the controversy which erupted when Arthur Ashe announced that he had contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion convinced them otherwise.Ten years later, after Asimov's doctors had died, Janet and Robyn agreed that the AIDS story could be made public.He did not oppose religious conviction in others, but he frequently railed against superstitious and pseudoscientific beliefs which tried to pass themselves off as genuine science.During his childhood, his father and mother observed Orthodox Jewish traditions, though not as stringently as they had in Petrovichi, and they did not force these beliefs upon Asimov.Around the age of eleven he began to write his own stories, and by age nineteen he was selling them to the science fiction magazines. Campbell, then editor of Astounding Science Fiction, was a strong formative influence and eventually became a personal friend. Army, serving for just under nine months before receiving an honorable discharge.Asimov attended New York City Public Schools, including Boys' High School, in Brooklyn, New York. In between, he spent three years during World War II working as a civilian at the Philadelphia Navy Yard's Naval Air Experimental Station. In the course of his brief military career, he rose to the rank of corporal on the basis of his typing skills, and narrowly avoided participating in the 1946 atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll.


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