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            Robert A. Heinlein


            At the age of 17, Heinlein graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He spent one year at the University of Missouri before he entered the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, from which he graduated as the 20th best among the 243 cadets. He spent five years in the Pacific Ocean until he had to retire because of tuberculosis in 1934. After his retirement he had different kinds of jobs: silver mining in Colorado, land-agent, political speech-writer and a failed attempt to become an elected politician. He also married his first wife, Leslyn McDonald.

            His first story "Lifeline" was written as an entry for a magazine contest offering $50 for the best sf story by a new writer, but he sold it instead for $70 to the magazine "Astounding Stories" where it was published in August 1939. During WWII he worked as a research engineer for the navy in Philadelphia but he also wrote 25 novels and short stories. He also met his second wife Virginia Gerstenfeld whom he married in 1948. Not much is known about his personal life. He once said that he wrote seven days a week, six months a year. The other six months he traveled or was lazy. At the end of the 1960s his health became weaker and he had to undergo several treatments. His health improved after a major operation in 1982 but his novel, "To Sail Beyond the Sunset," published in 1987, became his last.