Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury died Wednesday in Los Angeles, his biographer has confirmed. He was 91. The science-fiction author was born in Illinois, a descendant of Mary Bradbury, a woman who was tried and hanged as a witch in the Salem witch trials. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947, and a chance encounter in a Los Angeles bookstore put him in touch with respected critic Charles Isherwood, who then gave a glowing review to The Martian Chronicles. Three years later, Bradbury became a household name with the publication of Fahrenheit 451, the story of a book-burning future. The author of 11 novels, Bradbury also published numerous short-story collections, plays, screenplays, and graphic novels. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.