Aldous Leonard Huxley  (1894 - 1963)
Aldous Leonard Huxley was born in England on July 26, 1894, member of a distinguished scientific and literary family. A friend of his said that Huxley's ancestry "brought down on him a weight of intellectual authority and a momentum of moral obligations." At the age of 16 he suffered from a serious eye ailment, which nearly blinded him. He recovered, although he would never completely regain all his vision and started his writing career.
He published his first books of poetry while still a student at Oxford University. In 1919 he got married and the following year his only son was born. In1921, Huxley's first novel, Crome Yellow, was published and very well received. Then the Huxley family moved and travelled to Italy, France, the USA and India.
His most famous work is certainly Brave New World (1932): a dystopia, that is a negative utopia, on an inhumane society controlled by technology, in which art and religion have been abolished and human beings reproduce by artificial fertilization. In 1937 he moved to California, where he also worked as a script-writer. Also in the 1950's, Huxley experimented widely with mind-altering drugs like LSD and mescaline and was very interested in mysticism. The novel Eyeless in Gaza (1936) portrays its central character's conversion from selfish isolation to transcendental mysticism; and in The Doors of Perception (1954) and Heaven and Hell (1956) he describes the use of mescaline to induce visionary states of mind. The last novel he published before his death was Island (1962), a real utopia this time.
Like his contemporaries D. H. Lawrence and George Orwell, Huxley abhorred conformity and denounced the orthodox attitudes of his time. The enormous range of his intellect and the pungency of his writing make him one of the most significant voices of the early 20th century.
He died on the same day J.F.Kennedy was shot dead November, 22 1963.