Carl Edward Sagan (English pronunciation: /ˈseɪɡən/) (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, author, cosmologist, and highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. During his lifetime, he published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he advocated skeptical inquiry and the scientific method. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
Sagan became world-famous for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote. A book to accompany the program was also published. Sagan also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 film of the same name.
Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Russian Jewish family. His father, Sam Sagan, was a Russian immigrant garment worker; his mother, Rachel Molly Gruber, a housewife. Carl was named in honor of Rachel's biological mother, Chaiya Clara, in Sagan's words, "the mother she never knew". Sagan graduated from Rahway High School in Rahway,...
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