Sam Weller: Stories about his hero

Big Read spoke to students about 451 author Ray Bradbury

Layla Sabrah and April Draut

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Sam Weller, famous author, came to North on Nov. 4 to talk about his biography and stories of his hero, Ray Bradbury. The presentation was part of Wichita’s participation in The Big Read. This year’s Big Read book is Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451.

The late Ray Bradbury was a father figure in Weller’s life and he greatly influenced Weller’s writing.
Weller grew up reading Bradbury’s books, and he loved them. He said they influenced him to start writing.
“I fell in love with him as a young reader and went from consuming his stories to writing them,” Weller said.
Bradbury had not wanted a biography written about him. When Weller asked him why, Bradbury responded,”A biography means you’re dead”.
As their friendship blossomed, Bradbury finally decided he only wanted Weller to write his biography.
Bradbury was a highly recognized author, his fandom included celebrities such as Elton John and the late David Bowie. He wrote for The Twilight Zone and also for Alfred Hitchcock. To this day, Bradbury is known as one of the most influential people in the world.
In June of 2012, Weller had his last interview with Bradbury. He and had Bradbury had such a close friendship that Weller asked the first question on his mind. He asked Bradbury if he was scared of dying.
“I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not living,” Bradbury said.
Weller knew this would be the last time he would see Bradbury, as Bradbury’s health was declining. As Weller walked out the door he turned to Bradbury. What Bradbury said next stuck with and will stick with him for the rest of his life.
“I have four daughters, but you’re the son I never had.”
Ray Bradbury passed away June 5, 2012 at the age of 91. We thank him for his literary contributions and for his amazing stories. We also thank Sam Weller for sharing Ray Bradbury’s life with us.
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Sam Weller: Stories about his hero