Robert A. Heinlein was one of the most influential authors in American science fiction. In 1974, he was the first to receive a Grand Master Nebula of the Science Fiction Writers of America, an award given to a living author for a lifetime's achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.
He was born July 7, 1907 in Butler, Missouri. After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1929, he served as an officer in the United States Navy until 1934, when he was discharged due to pulmonary tuberculosis. During WW II he served with the Navy in aeronautical engineering, then returned to writing.
His 1961 Stranger in a Strange Land was the first science-fiction book to become a national best-seller. In the early 1970s, Heinlein suffered a series of strokes, but went on to write several more bestsellers. He died May 8, 1988 in Carmel, California.
Heinlein was awarded four original Hugos:
1956 Novel: Double Star
1960 Novel: Starship Troopers
1962 Novel: Stranger in a Strange Land
1967 Novel: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
The 1951 Retro Hugos were awarded at the 2001 World Con in Philadelphia (Millennium Philcon). Retro Hugos cover works during the years before the Hugo awards were established. 1951 Retro Hugo Awards Heinlein won were:
Best Novel: Farmer in the Sky
Best Novella: "The Man Who Sold the Moon" (from The Man Who Sold the Moon)
Best Dramatic Presentation: "Destination Moon" movie script