Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Martin Gardner: Introduction

Mathematician and Journalist

Short Biography of Martin Gardner (1914-2010)

Martin Gardner

US writer and mathematical games editor. For 25 years he covered a broad range of intellectual diversions in his regular column ‘Mathematical Games’ in the periodical Scientific American (1957–81). Collecting and adding to these columns, he published a seemingly endless stream of books on mathematical puzzles, logical brainteasers, and philosophical and literary diversions. His first book, In the Name of Science (1952), sounded another of his favourite themes – his exposure of cults, fads, and fallacies in the sciences over the centuries. He also wrote serious books on science, including Philosophical Foundations of Physics (1966), and a ‘metaphysical novel’, The Flight of Peter Fromm (1973).

He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1936, he became a reporter for the Tulsa Tribune. He then worked in public relations for the University of Chicago, later becoming a contributing editor of Humpty Dumpty magazine (1952–62). A practising magician (as well as musical saw player), he attacked those who misused magical tricks to suggest some supernatural powers. He also published editions of well-known texts with his own footnotes explaining esoterica and curiosities, including Lewis Carroll's The Annotated Alice (1960), Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Annotated Ancient Mariner (1965), and Ernest L Thayer's The Annotated Casey at the Bat (1967).

"Gardner, Martin (1914-2010)." The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide. Abington: Helicon, 2014. Credo Reference. Web. 2 October 2014.

Mathematics Library

Mathematics Library's picture
Mathematics Library
216 Altgeld Hall
1409 West Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-0258