- NAME: Richard Matheson
- OCCUPATION: Author, Screenwriter
- BIRTH DATE: February 20, 1926
- DEATH DATE: June 23, 2013
- EDUCATION: Brooklyn Technical High School, University of Missouri
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Allendale, New Jersey
- PLACE OF DEATH: Calabasas, California
- Full Name: Richard Burton Matheson
- AKA: Richard Matheson
Best Known For
Writer Richard Matheson wrote several popular and influential science fiction novels, including I am Legend (1954) and The Shrinking Man (1956).
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The novel was so popular that it was made into a film the following year, entitled The Incredible Shrinking Man. A number of film adaptations stemming from Matheson's stories followed, including Duel (1971),
film icon Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film; Stir of Echoes (1999); Somewhere in Time (1980); and What Dreams May Come (1998).
Matheson also wrote several memorable pieces for television during his heyday, specifically for the sci-fi series The Twilight Zone (1959). He worked with Rod Serling to write more than a dozen episodes for the series from 1959 to '64, with his "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" starring William Shatner noted as one of the series' most popular episodes. Matheson also wrote the episodes "Steel" and "Button, Button," which were adapted into the films Real Steel (2011) and The Box (2009), respectively.
Matheson continued to write successful novels thereafter, branching out into genres outside of science fiction. In 1993, his best-selling nonfiction novel The Path, an extension of his interest in paranormal matters in What Dreams May Come, was published. Nearly a decade later, he published the children's book Abu and the Seven Marvels (2002).
Matheson died on June 23, 2013, in Calabasas, California, of natural causes. Though he may not have been as well known as other sci-fi writers of his time, several prominent authors have praised Matheson for his innovative and unique form of storytelling. Well-known horror and fantasy storyteller Stephen King has credited Matheson as the author who influenced him the most as a writer.
Matheson has also been recognized by several respected organizations. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010, and he died just days before he was scheduled to receive the Visionary Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films at the Saturn Awards.
In 1952, Matheson married Ruth Ann Woodson, whom he met shortly after moving to California. The couple has four children together. Three of Matheson's children have followed in their father's footsteps, becoming writers.
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