Isaac Asimov (January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American author and scientist primarily known as being a science-fiction writer. He was unusually prolific, listing 469 books in his memoirs. Most of his books concern science, both fictional and non-fictional. His output would ultimately extend to cover almost the entire range of human knowledge, covering every subject in the Dewey Decimal System except philosophy. Asimov's writing received five Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. In 1987 he was named one of the Grand Masters of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia. His family emigrated to the United States when he was three, settling in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City. His family ran a series of candy stores. Young Isaac received his introduction to literature through a library card, provided by his father, and, to his father's disapproval, from the stock of pulp fiction that the family business stocked.
Asimov advanced rapidly through the school system, graduating from high school in 1935. He received a bachelor of science degree from Columbia and, after war-time interruptions, his Ph.D. in 1948.
In 1949 Asimov accepted a position as an instructor in biochemistry at Boston University. He described himself as a mediocre experimental chemist and academic researcher; his talents did not run to producing the type of formal academic papers which brought grants in to the university. By this time, however, he was an excellent lecturer and writer of general science books.In 1958, having achieved tenure, he left the university to become a full time writer.