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Van Vogt, A. E. (Alfred Elton), 1912-2000



A. E. (Alfred Elton) van Vogt was born on April 26, 1912 in a small community east of Gretna, Manitoba, located just north of the Canadian-American border. During his childhood, his family moved several times due to finances, which van Vogt found difficult. Unable to afford college, he worked as a truck driver, farm-hand, and freelance writer. In his early twenties, van Vogt began writing for pulp magazines, but switched to science fiction in 1938. One year later, he married his first wife, Edna Mayne Hull, who also was a science fiction writer. Up until 1941, van Vogt worked at the Canadian Department of National Defense, but quit to write full time. Three years later, Hull and Vogt moved to Hollywood, California.

Throughout the years, van Vogt became a prolific science fiction writer, and helped to usher in the “Golden Age of Science Fiction” (which took place roughly from 1938-1946), penning nearly forty novels and short stories. Some of his stories became the inspiration for popular science fiction movies, such as “Star Trek” and “Alien”. On occasion, Hull and van Vogt worked together on novels.

After Hull’s death in 1975 due to cancer, van Vogt married Lydia Bereginsky. He had no children from either marriage. Van Vogt continued writing, and his final published novel came out in 1985. He also received many science fiction literary awards, including Canada’s “Casper Award” for Lifetime Achievement in 1980 (now called the Prix Aurora Award), and "Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master" award in 1995. At this time, he began suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, which ultimately led to his passing on January 26, 2000.

Found in 1 Record:

Papers of A. E. van Vogt

Call Number: MS 322

This collection includes the correspondence between A. E. van Vogt and his publishers, a copy of the manuscript, “The Anarchist Colossus”, and signed published books under the same title.

Dates: 1953 - 1984