This chapter provides an overview of Clarke’s life, primarily drawn from Neil McAleer’s biography and Clarke’s reminiscences. It first notes the emergence in his childhood of the passions that defined his career: devotion to space, the oceans, and science fiction; close relationships with males; and an urge to make money. After summarizing his World War II experiences and early career as a science fiction and science writer, the chapter theorizes that the 1952 arrest of British cryptographer Alan Turing for homosexual activity drove the closeted Clarke, fearing similar persecution for homosexuality, to get married and abandon Britain for Sri Lanka, although the allure of skin diving was also a factor. There, he remained active as an author and television personality until his death in 2008.
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