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  • Ray Bradbury, who inspired the imaginations of countless readers with his tales of starships and life on distant planets, as well as provoking political commentary in his books, has died at 91. No immediate details concerning his death were available.

    Bradbury’s death was confirmed to The Associated Press by his daughter. The prolific writer was largely self taught. But he penned such classics as “The Martian Chronicles” and “Fahrenheit 451,” a searing political commentary.

    His collected works include more than 30 books and nearly 600 short stories as well as essays and plays, screenplays and teleplays.

    Bradbury grew up during the Great Depression. He was too poor to go to college, so he sought refuge in public libraries.

    “When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years,” he once told The New York Times.

    Writing and science fiction wwer always his passion. He launched his own magazine Futuria Fantasia when he was still a teen. He sold his first story at 21 and never looked back.

    His breakthrough came in 1950 with the “Martian Chronicles,” a series of short stories about the colonization of Mars by humans after Earth is largely destroyed.

    “Fahrenheit 451,” which he wrote in 1953 at the height of the Cold War was about a government that burned all books. The title is the temperature at which paper bursts into flame. As a result, a secret society is charged with memorizing great books.

    He could also be called a philosopher. His work “The Illustrated Man” in 1951 is a compilation of 18 short stories that explores the nature of mankind.

    Bradbury married Marguerite McClure in 1947. She died in 2003. The had four daughters together and eight grandchildren.