George R.R. Martin
Author, screenwriter, TV producer
Born: September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2018: Arts & Letters

Try to convince someone that the world’s most successful fantasy writer of the 21st century grew up in gritty Bayonne and they might say you’re dreaming. But such is the origin story of George Raymond Richard Martin.

The son of a longshoreman, Martin was raised in a federal housing project near the Bayonne docks. He recalls a childhood of playing with toy guns, reading comic books, watching “The Twilight Zone” on TV, and caring for his pet turtles, who inspired his first epic fantasy tale. Recognizing his passion for writing, Martin enrolled in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism.

Martin sold his first science fiction short story in 1970 at the age of 21; his first novel, “Dying of the Light,” was published in 1977. To support his budding career as a writer, he taught at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. He eventually moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to become a fulltime writer, and later to Hollywood to write and produce for television.

Frustrated by television, Martin turned back to writing novels. In 1996, Bantam Spectra published “Game of Thrones,” the first in a planned fantasy series called “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Four more books in the series followed; two more are planned. The international science fiction community has received all with great acclaim, driving each title up the best-seller lists.

In 2007, HBO purchased the TV rights to “A Song of Ice and Fire.” The series, “Game of Thrones,” would run for eight seasons from April 2011 to May 2019, with Martin as one of the executive producers. In all, there were 73 episodes. “Game of Thrones” earned 59 Prime-Time Emmy Awards and has been hailed as one of the greatest TV series of all time.

In recent years, Martin has worked on TV series as an executive producer for HBO, Peacock and AMC. He maintains a close relationship with his fans through his blog and regular attendance at science fiction and comics conventions.

Intro/Acceptance Video