Frank Herbert Additional Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Frank Herbert’s Dune novels form one of the most popular science-fiction series produced in the United States. Dune, first in this series, was translated into fourteen languages and became an international best-seller.

Herbert was born in Tacoma, Washington, on October 8, 1920. He decided to become a writer on his eighth birthday, but the road to a successful career was neither short nor straight. He began writing as a journalist in Southern California. After a brief marriage and service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he returned to journalism and began publishing short fiction. In 1945, Herbert spent a year at the University of Washington, where he met his second wife, Beverly, with whom he had two sons, Brian and Bruce. A decisive event in Herbert’s career was meeting Ralph and Irene Slattery in 1949. These two psychologists with broad intellectual backgrounds stimulated and encouraged Herbert’s creativity. His first science-fiction story, “Looking for Something,” appeared in 1952.

In 1954, as a speech writer in Washington, D.C., Herbert did research for Dragon in the Sea (now usually known as Under Pressure), establishing a pattern that typified his science fiction: His best work is characterized by carefully researched details that make his imagined worlds seem complete and real. This first novel appeared serially in Astounding Science Fiction beginning in 1955. Also while in Washington, D.C., Herbert witnessed at first hand the uses and abuses of power, notably by attending the 1954 Joseph McCarthy hearings to seek out communists. Political power became a central theme in his fiction.

Dune appeared in 1965, winning for Herbert both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards for science fiction. Though parts of the novel had appeared in Astounding...

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(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Author Frank Herbert was born in 1920 in Tacoma, Washington. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.

Frank Herbert worked for...

(The entire section is 258 words.)


(Novels for Students)

Frank Herbert was born on October 8, 1920, in Tacoma, Washington. After attending the University of Washington, Seattle, from 1946 to 1947...

(The entire section is 329 words.)


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Frank Herbert was born on October 8, 1920, in Tacoma, Washington. He began his career as a journalist when he was seventeen. From 1946 to...

(The entire section is 212 words.)