ABOUT ARTHUR C. CLARKEBorn at Minehead, Somerset in 1917: educated at Huish's Grammar School, Taunton. Entered H.M. Exchequer & Audit Department in 1936, then served in the RAF. While running the prototype GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) radar, he developed the basic theory of Communications Satellites, and published it in 1945.
After demobilization, he took First Class Honours in Physics and Mathematics at King's College, London, which later elected him Fellow. From 1948 to 1950 he was Assistant Editor of Physics Abstracts at the Institution of Electrical Engineers. he was Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society 1946/7, 1950/3.
Since 1954 his interest in underwater exploration has taken him to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and the Indian Ocean, and he is now a director of the Colombo-based Underwater Safaris.
He has published more than seventy books and made many appearances on Radio and TV, most notably with Walter Cronkite on CBS during the Apollo missions. His 13-part "Mysterious World" and "Strange Powers" TV programmes have been seen worldwide.
He is a Council Member of the Society of Authors, A Vice-President of the H.G. Wells Society and a member of many other Scientific and Literary Organizations. His honours include several Doctorates in science and literature, a Franklin Institute Award, the UNESCO-Kalinga prize, and an Oscar Nomination for the Screenplay of 200l: A Space Odyssey. In 1987 he was invited to New Delhi to deliver the Nehru Memorial lecture, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He has also been Vikram Sarabhai Professor at the Physical Research Laboratories, Ahmedabad. In 1989 the astronauts' and cosmonauts' exclusive organization, the Association of Space Explorers, awarded him their Special Achievement medal at a ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
His recreations include observing the Equatorial skies with a 14" telescope, table-tennis (despite Post-Polio Syndrome) and playing with his Rhodesian Ridgeback and his six computers.
He has lived in Sri Lanka for the past 30 years, and in 1979 President Jayewardene appointed him Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa, near Colombo, which is the location of the government-established Arthur Clarke Centre for Modern Technologies, specializing in communications and computers. he is also Chancellor of the International Space University, and Master of Richard Huish College, Taunton.
In 1989 H.M. the Queen awarded him a CBE for "services to British cultural interests in Sri Lanka." On returning to UK in 1992 for his 75th birthday celebrations, he was made the first Freeman of his home town, Minehead. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.