Author Ray Bradbury honored with Illinois hometown statue

Ray Bradbury receives National Medal of Arts in 2004 at The White House, with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Photo by Susan Sterner

Ray Bradbury receives National Medal of Arts in 2004 at The White House, with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Photo by Susan Sterner

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) – The Chicago-area hometown of the late famed science fiction writer Ray Bradbury marked his birthday with dedication of a statue in his honor.

The 12-foot-tall (3.7-meter-tall) stainless steel statue outside the Waukegan Public Library depicts Bradbury astride a rocket ship while holding a book. The (Lake County) News-Sun reports artist Zachary Oxman told those at Thursday’s ceremony that the statue tells the story of a man “beaming with unbridled imagination, curiosity and surprise,”

Bradbury was born in Waukegan in 1920 and often spoke of the hours he spent at the city’s library before his family moved to Los Angeles in his teenage years. He died in 2012. He authored hundreds of works including “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles.”

Michael Whelan (American, b. 1950-) original painting for the wrap-around dust jacket for the 40th Anniversary Edition of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Sold for $30,000 + buyer’s premium in a 2012 auction conducted by Heritage. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Heritage Auctions

The $125,000 project was primarily financed through donations.

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Information from: Lake County News-Sun, http://newssun.chicagotribune.com/

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