Isaac Asimov was a highly prolific science fiction and popular science writer. His exact birth date is unknown, although it is estimated to be between 4 October 1919 and 22 January 1920. Born in what is now known as the Republic of Belarus, this American Jew was also a biochemistry professor, as well as an occasional editor. Asimov has over 500 books (both written and edited) credited to his name.
Asimov was considered one of the "Big Three" of science fiction together with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. He is most famous for his Foundation series, to which his two other notable series - the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series, are also linked. His short story Nightfall is widely hailed as the best science fiction short story of all time. He also periodically wrote under the pseudonym Paul French. Most of the work under this name is considered to be juvenile science fiction.
A genius by most counts, Asimov was a longstanding member of Mensa, even serving as Vice President of the esteemed high IQ society. He was famously quoted as describing the group's members as being "intellectually combative" and was said to derive more pleasure from his presidential term with the American Humanist Association.
Isaac Asimov grew up in Brooklyn, New York, attending public schools until he gained entry to Columbia University. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in 1939, married Gertrude Blugerman in 1942, and was drafted into the army in 1945. He reached the rank of corporal before being honorably discharged just 9 months after he started his service.
Asimov then went back to Columbia, earning a PhD in biochemistry from said institution in 1948, after which he joined the staff of Boston University's School of Medicine. Asimov and his first wife Gertrude divorced in 1973, which allowed him to marry Janet Jeppson in the same year. On 6 April 1992, Isaac Asimov succumbed to AIDS, which he contracted during a blood transfusion. His second wife, Janet Jeppson, and his children survive him.
Asimov is credited with introducing three words into the public vocabulary: positronic, psychohistory, and robotics. He has a literary journal (Asimov's Science Fiction), two awards, and an asteroid (Asteroid 5020 Asimov) in his honor.