Legendary science fiction author and scientist, Arthur C. Clarke, widely believed to have been gay, has died at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka.
Clarke is best known as the author of the books 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Rendezvous with Rama (1972). The former was made into the acclaimed cult film of the same name.
He is recognised for having been among the first to set out the principles of satellite communication with satellites in geostationary orbits in 1945. He worked with scientists and engineers in the US in the development of spacecraft, launch systems and the use of satellites for weather forecasting.
According to the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation website, Clarke was born in Minehead, Somerset, England on December 16, 1917, developed an interest in space sciences and later began to write science fiction. He served in the RAF during World War 2 and went on to study Physics and Mathematics.
Many may recognise him from the thirteen-part TV series Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World which was broadcast in numerous countries around the world in the eighties.
He lived in Sri Lanka since 1956 and in recent years was largely confined to a wheelchair due to post-polio syndrome. He had a failed marriage which was dissolved in 1964.
In 1998, Clarke was accused of having paid two teenage boys for sex, which he denied. The accusations came just before he was to be knighted which led him to request that this be delayed to avoid embarrassing the Royal Family.
His lifetime work was eventually recognised by The Queen when he was honoured with a Knighthood in Sri Lanka two years later.
Clarke never publically said that he was gay, but his sexuality was an open secret. Once when directly asked the question, he replied that he was “merely mildly cheerful.”