Leinster, Murray, 1896-1975

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Leinster, Murray, 1896-1975

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



Murray Leinster was born William Fitzgerald Jenkins on June 16, 1896, in Norfolk, Virginia. He was an intensely prolific writer, starting with his first story, "The Foreigner" (which appeared in the May 1916 issue of H.L. Mencken's The Smart Set), he was responsible for some 1,000 published short stories and numerous novels and essays, many under a variety of pseudonyms. Leinster's first science fiction story "The Runaway Skyscraper" appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy, and was reprinted in the June 1926 issue of Amazing Stories.

Although his fame derived mostly from his science fiction writing, Leinster published in various popular genres, including romance, mystery, adventure, westerns, and general interest, in various magazines throughout his life. His science fiction is particularly notable during the pulp period for stories of scientists, both mad and heroic; time travel and alternate universe stories; and stories of military invasions of the United States (usually the invading country is never named) using futuristic and seemingly insurmountable weapons. Among his most famous stories are "Sidewise in Time" ( Astounding, June 1934), which is generally credited with not only introducing the concept of parallel universes to the pulps but also is considered the first alternate history story depicting a victorious Confederacy in the American Civil War; his 1945 novella "First Contact" which debuted the concept of the 'universal translator'; and "A Logic Named Joe" ( Astounding, March 1946), about a computer repairman who inadvertently helps an artificial intelligence to threaten civilization with an overload of personal information. It is the first stories in the genre to describe networked personal computers and their potential threats to security and privacy.

Leinster died on June 8, 1975. He won the 1956 Hugo Award for Best Novelette for "Exploration Team", the 1969 First Fandom Award, and a 1996 Retro Hugo for Best Novelette for "First Contact".


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places