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Arts and Entertainment

Angeleno Ray Bradbury Never Learned to Drive

Jennie Book /
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Ray Bradbury was known for his science fiction stories set in a not-too-distant future, but the Angeleno never learned how to use one of the 20th century's most important technologies: a car.

This fact was dropped into the bottom of a New York Times obituary for the science fiction author who died at age 91 earlier this week:

While Mr. Bradbury championed the space program as an adventure that humanity dared not shirk, he was content to restrict his own adventures to the realm of imagination. He lived in the same house in Los Angeles for more than 50 years, rearing four daughters with his wife, Marguerite, who died in 2003. For many years he refused to travel by plane, preferring trains, and he never learned to drive.

But Bradbury wasn't a recluse at all. In fact, he was active all the way into his later years and used his literary celebrity to call attention to the plight of libraries, which he said were crucial to his education. One of his favorites was a branch in Koreatown. But then if you asked him about the internet that's another story: "It's distracting. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere."

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So what better way to commemorate Bradbury's life than to have a good old-fashioned book-burning? Mr. Colbert will do the honors:

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