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Terry Pratchett

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Birthday: Apr 28, 1948

Birthplace: Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England, UK

Terence David John Pratchett was born on Apr. 28, 1948 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. During his time at High Wycombe Technical School (later renamed to John Hampden Grammar School), a 13-year-old Pratchett published his first short stories in the academy magazine; one of which, "The Hades Business," would be published commercially in Science Fantasy Magazine in 1963. He left school at age 17 to pursue a career in journalism, and wet on to published his first novel, the fantasy story The Carpet People (1971), five years later. After another decade in journalism-during which time he published his second novel The Dark Side of the Sun (1976)-Pratchett all but left the field to take a position as press officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board, which he would maintain until 1987. All the while, Pratchett penned the novel Strata (1981), as well as the first four novels in his "Discworld" series, The Colour of Magic (1983), The Light Fantastic (1986), Mort (1987), and Equal Rites (1987). Pratchett would expand on the "Discworld" series going forward, but also published works distinct from the series, including Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, which he cowrote with Neil Gaiman. Throughout the '90s, Pratchett launched additional novel series, namely the "Bromeliad" trilogy and the "Johnny Maxwell" trilogy, all the while continuing to add to the "Discworld" series, with formal deviations like The Science of Discworld (1999) and The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (2001), the first book in the series to be written for children. In the late '90s and early 2000s, Pratchett collaborated frequently with author Stephen Briggs. In 2007, Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and soon after became active in raising money for research for the disease. Following his diagnosis, Pratchett presented a pair of TV documentaries on the topic thereof and assisted suicide: "Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's" (BBC 2009), "Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die" (BBC 2011). Pratchett died on March 12, 2015 at the age of 66.