Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American novelist known for works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, and Breakfast of Champions. Vonnegut served in World War II until he was captured by German troops during the Battle of the Bulge. While a prisoner of war, Vonnegut witnessed the aftermath of the bombing of Dresden, Germany, which destroyed much of the city. This experience formed the core of his most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five and is a theme in at least six other books.
Vonnegut came from a line of freethinkers, and he himself was a Humanist. He was Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, replacing Isaac Asimov. Vonnegut was a lifetime member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and was deeply influenced by early socialist labor leaders. (Read more...)
"And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, ‘Kurt is up in heaven now.’ That's my favorite joke." —A Man Without a Country