Arthur C Clarke was born in Minehead, Somerset, England in 1917. He was known as one of the “Big Three” of sci-fi, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. His best-known work is 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
He was also an inventor. He developed an early-warning radar system during World War II, proposed a satellite communication system as early as 1945, and served as the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society on two occasions.
In 2007, on his 90th birthday, Clarke recorded a video in which he says goodbye to his friends and fans. In it, he said: “I have great faith in optimism as a guiding principle, if only because it offers us the opportunity of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
“So I hope we’ve learnt something from the most barbaric century in history — the 20th. I would like to see us overcome our tribal divisions and begin to think and act as if we were one family. That would be real globalization …”
He died of respiratory failure three months later.