(Matheson 1926 – 2013)
Renowned novelists, Richard Matheson, whose 1954 novel ‘I Am Legend’ was adapted for movies like World War Z, Oblivion, and Will Smith’ s 2007 ‘I Am Legend’ is dead. He was 87.
Born February 20, 1926, Richard Burton Matheson was an American author and screenwriter with a specialisation in fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen three times. Five other novels he authored have also been adapted for films such as The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return and A Stir of Echoes.
Matheson also wrote numerous television episodes of The Twilight Zone for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. He later adapted his 1971 short story “Duel” as a screenplay which was promptly directed by Steven Spielberg.
An author, George A. Romero candidly admits that his 1968 Night of the Living Dead was inspired by Matheson’s novel
“Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey to the Norwegian immigrants Fanny (née Mathieson) and Bertolf Matheson. He was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married Ruth Ann Woodson on July 1, 1952 and had four children, three of whom (Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson) became writers of fiction and screenplays.