Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (December 16, 1917 – March 19, 2008) was a British-Sri Lankan science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host.
He is perhaps most famous for being co-writer of the screenplay for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, widely considered to be one of the most influential films of all time. His other science fiction writings earned him a number of Hugo and Nebula awards, which along with a large readership made him one of the towering figures of science fiction. For many years Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov were known as the “Big Three” of science fiction.
Clarke was a lifelong proponent of space travel. In 1934, while still a teenager, he joined the British Interplanetary Society. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system, an idea which won him the Franklin Institute’s Stuart Ballantine Medal, in 1963, and other honours. Later he was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1946–47 and again in 1951–53.
Clarke was a science writer, who was both an avid populariser of space travel and a futurist of uncanny ability. On these subjects he wrote over a dozen books and many essays, which appeared in various popular magazines. In 1961 he was awarded the Kalinga Prize, an award which is given by UNESCO for popularizing science. These along with his science fiction writings eventually earned him the moniker “Prophet of the Space Age”.