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Karel Capek
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    (January 9, 1890-December 25, 1938)
    Born in Male Svatonovice, Czech Republic
    Journalist, author and playwright
    Best-known for the play 'R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)' (1920)
    Also wrote the plays 'The Makropulos Affair' (1922), 'The Absolute at Large' (1922), 'The White Disease' (1937) and 'The Mother' (1938), the novel 'War with the Newts' (1936) and the children's book 'Dasenka: The Life of a Puppy' (1933)
    He is remembered less for his writing than for popularizing the word 'robot.'
    He did not coin the word 'robot,' his brother Josef did. (Karel originally used the word 'labori' in the play.)
    Isaac Asimov said, 'Capek's play is, in my own opinion, a terribly bad one, but it is immortal for that one word.'
    'R.U.R.' was an international success, translated into 30 languages within two years of its debut.
    He suffered from the spinal condition spondyloarthritis.
    He was such an outspoken anti-Nazi that Hitler personally ordered the Gestapo to arrest him when the Germans marched into Prague. (Capek died of pneumonia three months before that happened.)
    His brother Josef died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Credit: C. Fishel

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