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James Tiptree, Jr., was the pseudonym that Alice Bradley Sheldon began to use for her writing in 1967. Born in Chicago, she grew up in Africa and India, worked for the CIA, and earned a Ph.D. in psychology. In 1987, when Tiptree and her husband became gravely ill, she killed him and herself
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Short biography
Alice Bradley Sheldon, better known as James Tiptree, Jr., was born in Chicago, Illinois. At age six, she was taken by her parents on safari in Africa. Her mother, author Mary Hastings Bradley, wrote several books about their travels, including Alice in Jungleland (1927), a children's book that featured photos of her daughter. In 1934, Alice eloped with William Davey, a Princeton student she had met only five days earlier. The couple divorced in 1941 and Alice returned to Chicago, where she got a job as art critic of the Chicago Sun. During World War II, she joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and worked at the Pentagon in photo intelligence. At the end of the war, she was transferred to a different unit, where she married her commanding officer, Colonel Huntington Sheldon. In 1952, they both joined the CIA, where she again worked in photointelligence and studied political changes in Africa. Alice left the CIA in 1955 and resumed her education, earning a B.A. from American University in Washington, D.C., in 1959 and then a Ph.D. in experimental psychology at George Washington University. While completing her dissertation, she wrote several science fiction stories, which she published under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr., in order to separate them from her academic career. She became one of the most-respected writers in the sci-fi field, winning the Hugo Award for her novella The Girl Who was Plugged In (1973). During the period 1970 to 1977, she wrote prolifically and at great speed. Her stories were collected in several volumes, including Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home (1973), Warm Worlds and Otherwise (1975), Star Songs of an Old Primate (1978), Out of the Everywhere, and Other Extraordinary Visions (981), and Her Smoke Rose Up Forever: The Great Years of James Tiptree, Jr. (1990). She also wrote several sci-fi stories as Raccoona Sheldon, and some non-sci fi under other names. Her true identity came to light in 1977. She killed herself and her second husband in 1987. She received a posthumous Solstice Award and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012.
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