From my "Writer's Almanac" today:
It's the birthday of the writer who caused Stephen King to say: "When people talk about genre, I guess they mention my name first, but without Richard Matheson I wouldn't be around. He is as much my father as Bessie Smith was Elvis Presley's mother." Horror and science fiction writer Richard Matheson (books by this author) was born in Allendale, New Jersey (1926). He wrote for television shows, including The Twilight Zone and Star Trek, and he wrote more than 20 novels and 100 short stories. His most famous books include I Am Legend (1954), The Shrinking Man(1956), later retitled The Incredible Shrinking Man, and What Dreams May Come (1978).