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Arthur William Bernal was born on September 12, 1913, in Oakland, California. An early fan of science fiction, he started writing at age fourteen and broke into magazines with letters to Astounding Stories of Super-Science (June 1930) and Amazing Stories (Aug. 1930). A year later, he provided the cover story ("Cosmic Menace") for the summer issue of Amazing Stories Quarterly. He wasn't quite eighteen years old.