Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Frederik Pohl is one of the best-known and most prolific American writers of science fiction. He was born in New York City on November 26, 1919, the only child of Fred George and Anna Jane (Mason) Pohl. His father was a machinist who, with his family, left New York to work in Panama, Texas, and California before returning to New York. As a result of this peripatetic life, the young Frederik attended a number of public schools, although he preferred to remain at home and learn from his mother. In 1930 his father left the family, and his mother went to work to support them. Pohl was left to his own devices, and he spent much of his free time in museums and motion-picture theaters. He did attend public school, but Pohl’s formal education, by his own estimation, was less than nine years. He never finished high school, dropping out at age seventeen. His favorite subjects in school were music and science.
Outside the classroom Pohl was, however, a voracious reader; the Brooklyn Public Library was a favorite haunt. He preferred fiction, reading in all genres. In the 1930’s he discovered science fiction and began writing short stories for publication in the various “fanzines” published in New York City. Pohl also joined numerous science-fiction clubs, the most important of which was the Futurian Society of New York, a club which had as members future science-fiction greats such as Isaac Asimov, Cyril (C. M.) Kornbluth, Judith Merril, and James Blish. Pohl...
(The entire section is 1052 words.)
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