Mccaffrey, Anne

Alternative names
Birth 1926-04-01
Death 2011-11-21

Biographical notes:

American author, fantasy and science fiction short story writer and novelist.

From the guide to the Anne McCaffrey Papers, 1947-1967, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)


On April 1, 1926, Anne Inez McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to George Herbert McCaffrey and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey. Her father was a United States Army Colonel and her mother worked as an advertising copywriter in Boston. In 1947, McCaffrey graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College, majoring in Slavonic Languages and Literatures. Her unpublished honors thesis was titled Eugene Ivanovich Zamiatin, with Special Emphasis on His Utopian novel, We . A copy of the thesis is in the manuscript division of the George Arents Library in Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. In 1948 McCaffrey worked in New York City as a copywriter and layout artist for the Liberty Music Shops. There she wrote advertisements based on lines from Bartlett's Famous Quotations . She also worked as the Secretary to the Sales Manager of Helena Rubenstein, Inc.

During the late forties McCaffrey was also involved in St. John Terrill's first musical circus in Lambertsville, New Jersey. In 1958, the family moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where she joined the Brecks Mill Cronies and studied voice under Ted Huang, the Choir Master. In 1963 the family moved to Düsseldorf, Germany, where McCaffrey studied voice under Ron Stewart. As final act of her theater career McCaffrey directed the American premiere of Carl Orff's Ludus de Nato Infante Mirificus, in which she also played a witch. Concurrently with her involvement in theater, McCaffrey wrote and published a number of science fiction short stories. Her first story Freedom of the Race was published in October 1953. In 1963, Virginia Kidd became McCaffrey's literary agent. Encouraged by the science fiction writer Robert Silverberg, McCaffrey decided to become a full-time writer in 1965 and has gone on to have an illustrious career as an author spanning more than forty years.

  • 1926:: Anne Inez McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 1st.
  • 1947:: Graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College, majoring in Slavonic Languages and Literatures. Her unpublished honors thesis was titled Eugene Ivanovich Zamiatin, with Special Emphasis on His Utopian novel, We.
  • 1953:: Published her first story, Freedom of the Race, in Science Fiction Plus.
  • 1967:: Published Dragonrider, Part One of Two Parts and Weyr Search in Analog.
  • 1967:: Published first novel Restoree.
  • 1968:: Received Nebula Award for Dragonrider in the Best Novella category.
  • 1968:: Published Dragonrider, Part Two of Two Parts in Analog.
  • 1968:: Received Hugo Award for Weyr Search in the Best Novella category.
  • 1971:: Published Dragonquest and Ring of Fear.
  • 1973:: Published Cooking Out of This World, a collection of favorite recipes by science fiction writers.
  • 1976:: Published Dragonsong.
  • 1976:: Received E. E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction.
  • 1977:: Published Dragonsinger.
  • 1977:: Published the short story collection Get Off the Unicorn.
  • 1978:: Published Dinosaur Planet, The White Dragon, and The Dragonriders of Pern.
  • 1979:: Received the Australian Ditmar Award and the English Gandalf Award for The White Dragon.
  • 1980:: Received the Balrog Award for Outstanding Achievement and Best Novel in the Fantasy category for Dragondrums.
  • 1980:: Received the European Stresa Eurocon Award for The White Dragon.
  • 1982:: Published The Crystal Singer.
  • 1985:: Published Killashandra.
  • 1986:: Received her first Book of the Year Award presented by the Science Fiction Book Club for Killashandra.
  • 1999:: Received the Julie Award for a Lifetime of Distinguished Service Throughout the Fantastic Arts presented to her at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 1999:: Received the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Literary Achievement Award.
  • 2004:: Received the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Lifetime Achievement Award.

From the guide to the Ann McCaffrey papers, 1957-1999, undated, 1981-1999, (Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.)

Anne McCaffrey was born April 1, 1926, in Cambridge, Mass. Although some of her science fiction/fantasy novels are considered to be for young adults, McCaffrey is best known as an author of science fiction for adults, for which she has won many awards, including a Hugo, a Nebula, and a Gandalf. She has authored and co-authored many series in the sci-fi field, including the Dragonriders of Pern series.

Biographical Sources: Something About the Author, vols. 8, 70, 116; Something About the Author Autobiographical Series, vol. 11; Children's Literature Review, vol. 49

From the guide to the Anne McCaffrey Papers, 1976, (University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections [clrc])


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • McCaffrey, Anne. Dragonriders of Pern
  • Science-fiction writers
  • Women novelists, American
  • Science fiction--women authors
  • Science fiction
  • American literature--20th century
  • Literature--American Fiction
  • Fantasy fiction, American
  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction, American
  • Women authors, American
  • Women authors


  • Authors
  • Novelists


not available for this record