A twentieth-century American author, he is best known for his novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz, which was based on short stories he contributed to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. His numerous short story collections include The View from the Stars and Conditionally Human.
During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a bomber pilot. He studied engineering at both the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas.
He won a Hugo Award in 1955 for his short story, "The Darfsteller."
He married Anna Louise Becker in 1945; they had four children.
He kept a photo of Ron Kovic in his room.