John W. Campbell Jr.
Author and editor behind the Golden Age of science fiction.
June 8, 1910 – July 11, 1971
As editor of Astounding Stories, Astounding Science Fiction and Analog from 1937–1971, John W. Campbell Jr. helped shape 20th century science fiction literature more than any other individual.
A devotee of the science fiction magazines from their inception, Campbell began writing stories as a teenager and by the early 1930s had a reputation for crafting galactic epics. The climax of his popularity came with “The Thing from Another World” (1938), a science fiction horror story adapted several times for film, about an Antarctic research station menaced by a shape-changing alien.
After being appointed editor of Astounding Stories in 1937, Campbell wrote almost no fiction. However, he brought to his editorial post a wealth of ideas and a determination to raise the standards of science fiction writing. The careers of some of the genre's greatest talents were nurtured under his leadership, and the magazine's prime years are now commonly referred to as the Golden Age of science fiction.