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Arthur C. Clarke dead at 90

The Final Odyssey

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Arthur C. Clarke has died at the age of 90.

The famed writer and visionary died early Wednesday morning at a hospital near his home in Sri Lanka, The Times reports.

Most famous for expanding his short story "The Sentinel" into a novel and screenplay that served as the basis for Stanley's Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the British-born Clarke authored more than 100 books involving space, science, and science fiction, and he's often credited with inventing the concept of satellite communications. He first proposed the idea in 1945 with a paper called "Extra-terrestrial Relays."

Today, the International Astronomical Union refers to a geostationary satellite orbit as The Clarke Orbit.

Having fought post-polio syndrome since the 1960s - a condition that forced him into a wheelchair at times - Clarke checked into the hospital four days ago, and according to his personal secretary, he died after experiencing a cardio-respiratory attack. He had lived in Sri Lanka since 1956.

Clarke was born in Minehead, Somerset, England on December 16, 1917. In 1936, he moved to London, where he worked as a clerk in Her Majesty's Exchequer and Audit Department and joined The British Interplanetary Society. He soon was contributing to the Society Bulletin, while trying his hand at science fiction.

During the Second World War, he joined the RAF and was eventually put in charge of a new radar-based blind landing system. Then, in May 1946, his first published story, "The Rescue Party," appeared in Astounding Science Fiction. "The Sentinel" was published two years later.

Kubrick approached Clarke in 1964, and after four years of collaboration, they received a joint Academy awards nomination for their work on the 2001 screenplay.

Clarke's "2001" novel, written alongside the screenplay, was followed by three sequels: "2010," "2061," and "3001: The Final Odyssey." Other well-known Clarke books include "Childhood's End," "The City and The Stars," "The Nine Billion Names of God," "Rendezvous with Rama," "Imperial Earth," and "The Songs of Distant Earth." ®

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