Stanislaw Lem More at IMDbPro »
Date of Birth
12 September 1921, Lwów, Lwowskie, Poland [now Lviv, Ukraine]
Date of Death
27 March 2006, Kraków, Malopolskie, Poland (heart disease)
Stanislaw Lem was a visionary Polish author known for Solaris (2002).
He was born on September 12, 1921, in Lwów, Poland. His father, Samuel Lem, was a wealthy laryngologist who served in the Austrian army. His mother, Sabina Woller, was a homemaker. Although he was born into a Polish-Jewish family, Lem was raised a Catholic and later became an atheist. He graduated from the Lwów Gymnazium in 1939, then studied medicine at the Lvov Medical Institute in 1940-1941. During WWII, he survived the Nazi occupation of Lwów and worked as a mechanic and welder for a German firm until 1944.
After World War II Lem escaped from the Soviet occupation of Germany and moved to Krakow, Poland, as a repatriate. There he completed his medical studies at Jagellonian University, without taking the doctor's degree. He worked at the Konserwatorium Naukoznawcze as a research assistant for psychologist Dr. Choynowski. From 1946-1949 Lem was involved in medical research in psychology, which became a turning point in his life. He started writing poetry and science fiction in 1946, but his first serious novel, "Hospital of the Transfiguration", was suppressed by the Polish government for eight years. It was released only in 1956, when freedom of speech was earned after the "Polish October" popular uprising.
Lem quit medicine in 1949, because he did not want to be drafted into the army. He married a doctor instead of being one. In 1949 he became a professional writer and continued creating his increasingly unusual novels: "The Investigation", "Eden", "Return from the Stars". The 1960s and 1970s were the most productive for Lem. At that time he wrote 'Solaris', 'The Invincible', 'The Cyberiad', 'His Master's Voice', 'The Star Diaries', 'The...