Robert Heinlein Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Martha Martins
Jan 31, 2024 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Jun 23, 2022
Edited by Krishna Thankey
Robert Heinlein published 32 novels, 59 short stories, and 16 collections during his writing career.
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Read time: 5.3 Min

About Robert Heinlein

Robert Anson Heinlein was a prolific fictional author from America who was also an aerospace engineer and naval officer.

Robert was the most influential and controversial author of his time, and in 1974, he was considered the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master. His works broke the realms and augmented the science fiction writings to new heights.

Heinlein was one of the best-selling science fiction (SF) authors for many decades and became the first SF author in the '40s to appear in the mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post. His first story was titled, 'Life-Line', published in the Astounding Science Fiction magazine. His first book was titled 'Rocket Ship Galileo', followed by many short stories and novels for young adults.

However, he rose into prominence with his famous novel, 'Stranger in a Strange Land' (1961), attracting many readers. Also, Heinlein's writings not only confined his stories to science fiction but also addressed social themes such as the importance of liberalism, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, self-reliance, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought. So, please keep reading to know more about his career and life.

Robert Heinlein Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Robert Heinlein's net worth?

Robert Heinlein earned a net worth of $ 1.4 million from his primary career as a novelist, aerospace engineer, and lieutenant junior in the US Navy.

How much did Robert Heinlein earn per year?

How much Robert Heinlein earned annually is not known.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Robert Heinlein?

Robert Heinlein was quite tall, but the exact height is not known.

How old was Robert Heinlein?

Robert Heinlein was 80 years old when he expired on May 08, 1988. He held American nationality.

Childhood And Education

Robert Heinlein, also known as Robert Anson Heinlein, was born in Butler, Missouri, on July 7, 1907. However, he was raised in Kansas City, US. He was very interested in astronomy during his childhood, and by age 16, he read almost every book on SF and astronomy.

He attended the Kansas City High School in 1919 and joined the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) as he wanted to pursue a career in the military. However, he attended the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1925 and graduated with a BS degree in Naval Engineering in 1929. Lawrence Heinlein, his brother, served in the US Army.

Later, Heinlein attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and graduated in physics and mathematics.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Robert Heinlein's partner?

Robert A Heinlein married thrice. He was married to Elinor Curry for a brief period, and in 1932, he married Leslyn MacDonald, which lasted for 15 years. However, Robert Heinlein married Virginia 'Ginny' Gerstenfeld on October 21, 1948, and the couple remained married until Robert's death. Heinlein had no children from his three marriages.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

After graduating from the Naval academy, Heinlein served on the USS Lexington and later on USS Roper from 1933 to 1934. But, he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and was given early retirement in 1934 with the rank of lieutenant. Heinlein served in the navy for five years. After failing his first career, he tried to enter politics and contested for a seat in California State Assembly in 1938. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful and broke once again.

After several odd jobs, he spotted a writing contest calling budding writers for submission in a magazine. Heinlein became interested in writing, and eventually, it became his third and final career. He started writing down stories, and his first story, 'Life-Line', was published in the Astounding Science Fiction magazine. Soon, he got a reputation as a famous science fiction writer. Later, Heinlein studied aeronautical engineering during World War II and served as a civilian engineer at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Pennsylvania. He also served in WW II, fighting the Japanese, German and Italian fascism.

After the war, he continued writing SF and retained his status as one of his genre's renowned authors. He jotted down 'Starship Troopers' (his last youth novel), published in 1959. The 'Starship Troopers' novel was a controversial work, and his response called for the then-President to stop nuclear testing.

In 1961, Heinlein penned a book titled 'Stranger in a Strange Land,' which received massive popularity in the counterculture and earned him the title of a grandmaster. A few years later, in 1966, he came up with another work, 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress', an award-winning novel. His health started deteriorating during the '70s, but he continued writing and came up with another book, 'Time Enough For Love'.

In the '80s, Heinlein participated in the space movement and was a National Space Policy Council member. He wrote space policy papers for Reagan Administration in collaboration with Jerry Pournelle. Sadly, Heinlein expired on May 08, 1988, due to emphysema and heart failure.

Charity Work

The Heinlein Society, a non-profit corporation, was established (with assistance from Virginia Heinlein) in 1997 in California to commemorate the late authors' works. This organization also sponsors for Robert A. Heinlein Award.

What awards did Robert Heinlein win?

Robert A Heinlein won Hugo Awards four times for 'Strangers in a Strange Land', 'Double Star', 'Starship Troopers', and 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress'. In addition, he won three Retro Hugo Awards.

In 1998, Heinlein was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall Of Fame, and in 2013, he was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians.

Robert Heinlein's Hobbies And Interests

Robert Heinlein and Ginny traveled around the world between 1953 and 1954, which Robert described in his non-fiction travelogue titled 'Tramp Royale'. Later, this travelogue provided the basis for his science fiction novels. Together, they visited sixty countries, including Antarctica. However, the couple got settled down in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Other Interesting Robert Heinlein Facts And Trivia

  • Robert A Heinlein was the first science fiction writer on the New York Times Best Seller list.
  • Robert Heinlein was so prominent as a writer that a crater on Mars (Heinlein Crater), is named after him.
  • Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert A Heinlein are considered the 'Big 3' of the Science Fiction genre.
  • In 1997, his best-selling novel 'Starship Troopers' was adapted into a successful cult film.
  • The US Naval Academy created a Robert A. Heinlein Chair In Aerospace Engineering in 2001.
  • Heinlein coined some words that have become a part of the English language, such as grok and waldo, and popularized the term TANSTAAFL and space marine.
  • Robert A Heinlein Award (a sterling silver medallion) is granted for outstanding works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space. In 2022, David Gerrold, a famous screenwriter, won this Award.

Main image credit : Olga Popova /

Robert Heinlein Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Robert Anson Heinlein

Date of Birth


Date of Death




Place of Birth



American Science Fiction Novelist, Aerospace Engineer, Naval Officer


Kansas City High School, US Naval Academy, University Of California, LA

Net Worth



Virginia 'Ginny' Gerstenfled


Rex Ivar Heinlein, Bam Lyle Heinlein


Lawrence Heinlein
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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

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Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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