Douglas Adams

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Biographical Information

"Douglas Adams was an author, comic radio dramatist, amateur musician and conservation enthusiast. He became a founder patron of Save the Rhino International (SRI) in 1994 and was a dedicated spokesperson for SRI right up until his death in 2001 at the age of 49.

"Today, Douglas is best known as author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a towel, a comic book series, a computer game and a feature film completed after Douglas’s death.

"In addition to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams wrote or co-wrote three stories of the science fiction television series Doctor Who, and served the series as Script Editor during the seventeenth season. His other written works include the Dirk Gently novels, and co-author credits on two Liff books. Douglas also originated the idea for the computer game Starship Titanic, which was realized by a company that he co-founded, and subsequently adapted into a novel by Terry Jones. A posthumous collection of essays and other material, including an incomplete novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

"His fans and friends also knew Adams as an environmental activist, a self-described "radical atheist" and a lover of fast cars, cameras, Apple Macintosh computers, and other "techno gizmos." He was a keen technologist, using such inventions as e-mail and Usenet before they became widely popular, or even widely known.

"Douglas became interested in conservation in 1985 after the Observer Colour Magazine sent him to investigate Madagascar’s endangered Aye-aye, accompanied by zoologist Mark Carwardine. This resulted in a radio series for the BBC and then a book, both entitled Last Chance to See, in which he and Mark visited rare species such as New Zealand’s Kakapo and the northern white rhinos of Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 1992, this was made into a CD-ROM combination of audio book, e-book and picture slide show years before such things became fashionable.

"Adams and Mark Carwardine contributed the 'Meeting a Gorilla' passage from Last Chance to See to the book The Great Ape Project. This book, edited by Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer launched a wider-scale project in 1993, which calls for the extension of moral equality to include all great apes, human or nonhuman.

"Since 2003, SRI has held an annual Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture around the time of his birthday to raise money for rhino conservation projects. " [1]

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  1. Our Trustees and Patrons, Save the Rhino International, accessed December 14, 2011.