Top 15 Facts about Isaac Asimov 📝

As a writer, biochemist, and war veteran, Isaac Asimov lived a life of publicity and fame. However, some things about him get rarely mentioned.

Isaac Asimov

(1920 - 1992), American writer and Professor of Biochemistry

Isaac Asimov’s contribution to science and science fiction created a path for many writers and scientists to follow. From ‘I, Robot’ to other novels, he inspired innovators and scientists who made a reality from his fiction.

Facts About Isaac Asimov

He Taught Himself to Read at Five

At just the age of five, Isaac Asimov learned to read. Though his parents taught him to speak English, he had to learn how to read the language. Isaac loved the library and books from a young age. Isaac began teaching himself how to comprehend English when he was five. After learning how to read, he also taught his sister, Marcia.

Isaac Asimov was the Sole Survivor of Double Pneumonia

In 1921, 17 children got infected with double pneumonia in Petrovichi, Russia. With Isaac among the children, pneumonia killed all but one of the children, Isaac. After getting cured of pneumonia, Isaac’s family moved from Russia to the United States.

Isaac Asimov was Bilingual

Isaac Asimov was a man of many talents and languages. At a young age, his parents spoke Yiddish and English to him. Though he was from a Russian-Jewish family, he never learned Russian. However, his English fluency made learning to read easier.

Isaac Asimov Met Robert A. Heinlein and L. Sprague de Camp in the Army

In World War II, Isaac got drafted to serve in the Army. Working at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, he met two exceptional writers in science fiction, Robert A. Heinlein and L. Sprague de Camp. Isaac served with both writers, and luckily, he got removed from a task force that ended up participating in Operation Crossroads nuclear test.

Isaac Asimov Contributed to Science

Being regarded as one of the greatest science fiction writers in history, Isaac Asimov also contributed to science. As a Professor of Biochemistry at Boston University, Isaac published a thesis called “The Kinetics of the Reaction Inactivation of Tyrosinase During its Catalysis of the Aerobic Oxidation of Catechol.” He also wrote books on physics, mathematics, history, and biblical expositions.

Isaac Asimov Switched from Zoology to Chemistry

Initially, Isaac applied to study Zoology at Columbia College. However, after refusing to partake in the dissection of an alley cat, he switched to chemistry. Isaac’s disapproval of dissecting a cat changed his career path.

Isaac Asimov was Afraid of Flying

Because of his fear of flying, Isaac never traveled too much. He traveled only twice by air. The first time was when he worked at the Naval Air Experimentation Station. The second time Isaac traveled was returning home from Oahu. Also, he loved small spaces and was a claustrophile.

He Wrote 90,000 Letters

Isaac Asimov wrote and edited 500 novels and short stories. However, an elusive fact about his writing was that he wrote about 90,000 letters or postcards. Due to the sheer volume of his writing, he had worked in every major category of the Dewey Decimal System.

He Loved Sailing

Though he was scared of flying, Isaac loved sailing on cruise ships. He was part of the entertainment program on many cruises as he gave science-themed presentations. Some famous cruises Isaac presented on was the ship Queen Elizabeth 2. Isaac got hired as a public speaker for many events.

Isaac Asimov was a Patient Person

With the popularity of his novels and short stories, many people became a fan of Isaac Asimov; this created a massive following. He got described as patient as he would answer thousands of questions and postcards from his fans.

Isaac Barely Wrote About Aliens

For a science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov barely wrote anything regarding aliens. His work focused on humans and robots, but his novels did not have anything about aliens. His reason for excluding aliens from his work was the criticism when he wrote about aliens being superior to humans. However, he later wrote ‘The Gods Themselves,’ which contained aliens.

Isaac Asimov Invented the Word Robotics

Before Isaac, no one knew anything about the word robotics. However, with the ‘I, Robot’ series, Isaac Asimov invented the term robotics.

Isaac Asimov Died from AIDs Related Complications

Isaac Asimov died from AIDs complications after he got infected from a blood transfusion. In 1983, he underwent a heart bypass surgery, and during the surgery, he got transfused with AIDs infected blood. Ten years after his death, Isaac’s wife kept his death a secret.

An Asteroid Got Named After Him

5020 Asimov is an asteroid that got named after Isaac. Because of his immense contribution to science fiction and robotics, Honda also named their humanoid prototype ASIMO.

Some Evidence Suggests that Isaac Asimov was Unfaithful to His First Wife

Though his life seemed quiet, some evidence suggested that Isaac Asimov cheated on his first wife, Gertrude. The reason for his unfaithfulness has been speculated by many as the feeling of inadequacy and low self-esteem.


How good of a writer was Isaac Asimov?

Isaac Asimov is the grandmaster of science fiction. Having written more than 500 novels and short stories, he is a giant in science fiction. Apart from novels and short stories, Isaac also wrote about 90,000 letters and postcards, and he has published books and journals in science.

What was Isaac Asimov’s greatest fear?

Isaac Asimov was scared of flying. Throughout his life, he only flew twice. Although Isaac hated flying, he loved cruise ships and was an entertainer on some cruises. He gave science-themed talks on cruises like Queen Elizabeth 2.

Why did Isaac Asimov keep sideburns?

Isaac Asimov kept sideburns because they were a prominent attraction for him. He only started keeping sideburns in his later years.

Was Isaac Asimov among the Big Three of science fiction?

Isaac Asimov was among the ‘Big Three’ of science fiction. He, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein were the ‘Big Three.’

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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