Arthur C. Clarke

British science fiction writer, inventor, and futurist (1917–2008)

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (Minehead, Somerset, 6 December 1917 – Colombo, Sri Lanka, 19 March 2008) was a British writer and inventor. He was most famous for his science fiction novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and for working with director Stanley Kubrick on the movie of the same name. Clarke and Isaac Asimov were probably the two best-known science fiction writers of their day.

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke in 2005
Arthur C. Clarke in 2005
BornArthur Charles Clarke
(1917-12-16)16 December 1917
Minehead, Somerset, England
Died19 March 2008(2008-03-19) (aged 90)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Pen nameCharles Willis
E. G. O'Brien
  • Writer
  • inventor
  • futurist
Alma materKing's College London
GenreScience fiction
Popular science
Notable works2001: A Space Odyssey
Marilyn Mayfield
(m. 1953; div. 1964)

Some of Clarke's novels include Childhood's End, A Fall of Moondust, The Songs of Distant Earth, The Sands of Mars, and Meeting with Medusa. He also wrote many short stories, and several serious works on science.[1][2][3]

Clarke served in the Royal Air Force as a radar instructor and technician from 1941 to 1946. He proposed a satellite communication system in 1945 which won him the Franklin Institute Gold Medal in 1963.[4][5]

He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1947 to 1950 and again from 1951 to 1953.[6][7]

Clarke emigrated to Sri Lanka in 1956 largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving;[8] That year, he discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee. He lived in Sri Lanka until his death. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998,[9][10] and was awarded Sri Lanka's highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.[11]

Clarke died from heart and respiratory failure at the age of 90.



  1. Clarke, Arthur C. 1950. Interplanetary flight: an introduction to astronautics. London: Temple Press.
  2. Clarke, Arthur C. 1951. The exploration of space. London: Temple Press, 1951. Updated/revised 1959 and 1979 (with a new introduction).
  3. Clarke, Arthur C. 1962. Profiles of the future. London: Gollancz, and Pan Books.
  4. The 1945 Proposal by Arthur C. Clarke for Geostationary Satellite Communications
  5. "The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  6. "Moon Miners' Manifesto: Arthur C Clarke nominated for Nobel". Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  7. Benford, Gregory (2008). "Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008)". Nature. 452 (7187): 546–546. doi:10.1038/452546a. ISSN 1476-4687.
  8. "Remembering Arthur C. Clarke". Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  9. "The new knight of science fiction". BBC News. BBC. 1 January 1998. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  10. "Arthur C Clarke knighted". BBC News. BBC. 26 May 2000. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  11. Government Notification—National Honours Archived 2010-07-24 at the Wayback Machine, November 2005. Retrieved on 20 October 2008

Other websites