Multiple Hugo Award winner Isaac Asimov's most famous work is the Foundation Series, which he later merged with two of his other series, the Galactic Empire Series and Robot series. A prolific writer Asimov has works in every major category of the Dewey Decimal System except for Philosophy. Issac Asimov was a master at the science-fiction genre. Sharing the title with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the "Big Three" science-fiction writers during his lifetime. As well as being an gifted writer, Issac Asimov was a long-time member of Mensa which he described as "intellectually combative."
Asimov was born around January 2, 1920 in Petrovichi shtetl of Smolensk Oblast, RSFSR, which now is Russia, into a Jewish family of millers. His exact birth date is unknown as his mother changed it at least four times to move young Issac along quicker in school. Isaac along with his parents Anna Rachel Berman Asimov and Judah Asimov immigrated to the United States when he was three years old. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, he teaching himself to read at the age of five, while remaining fluent in Yiddish. His parents operated a family candy store. The candy store sold science fiction magazines which were Issac’s first exposure to the genre he would become most prolific in. As a teenager, he began to write his own stories and shortly after he was selling them to magazines. His first published short story “Marooned Off Vesta” was published when he was 19.
Isaac Asimov graduated from Columbia University in 1939 and received a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1948. He later joined the faculty of Boston University as a non-teaching lecturer. The university stopped paying him a salary in 1958, by which time he was making more money from writing. Asimov stayed on the faculty as an associate professor, then later being promoted to full professor in 1979. His personal papers from 1965 onward are archived at Boston University's Mugar Memorial Library. This impressive collection takes up 464 boxes on 71 meters of shelf space. In 1985, he became President of the American Humanist Association until his death in 1992; his successor was his friend Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Asimov's career can be divided into three time periods. Starting in 1939 lasting until 1958, his early career was short stories on science fiction ending after The Naked Sun was published. For the next quarter century, he would write only four science fiction novels while writing many non-fiction works. Then in 1982, he picked up his science fiction career again with the publication of Foundation's Edge. Until his death, Asimov would mostly write sequels to his existing novels, bringing them together in a way he had not expected. Asimov believed that his most long lasting contributions would be the Three Laws of Robotics and the Foundation Series. In addition, the Oxford English Dictionary credits his science fiction works for introducing the words positronic, psychohistory and robotics into the English language.
Many of Asimov's novels deal with themes of paternalism. In "The Evitable Conflict", the robots run humanity, acting as nannies. Another common theme, which is the reverse of paternalism, is social oppression. In The Stars, the protagonist helps a planet that is oppressed by an empire, the Tyranni. In Robots and Empire, he introduces the Zeroth Law of Robotics, which states that "A robot may not injure humanity, nor, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm".
He married Gertrude Blugerman on July 26, 1942, with whom he had two children, David and Robyn. They were divorced in 1973, and Asimov later that year married Janet O. Jeppson. Asimov died on April 6, 1992. It was later revealed in his biography that his death was caused by AIDS. He became HIV positive from an infected blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery in 1983. The actual cause of death was heart and renal failure from complications of AIDS.