George R.R. Martin, the creative force behind the Game of Thrones universe, was born in Bayonne on September 20, 1948.

He was a writer at a young age, selling monster stories to other Bayonne kids for pennies, although he considers a short story he sold at age 21, The Galaxy, as his first professional sale. After graduating from Marist High School in Bayonne, he attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he received both a B.S. and M.S. in journalism. After working as a college journalism instructor and part time writer, he moved to Hollywood to work on the television series, Twilight Zone. He subsequently worked on other shows, including Max Headroom and Beauty and the Beast.

Frustrated with the constraints imposed on his writing that television imposed, he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to devote himself to writing novels full time. His epic, A Game of Thrones was published in 1996 and began the Song of Ice and Fire series. It introduced readers to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and The Wall. It was successful enough to spawn sequels; A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance With Dragons. As many fans will tell you, there are two more novels in the series Martin has yet to finish.

HBO bought the rights to the Song of Fire and Ice series and launched what was, by some measures, their most successful television show of all time. It was called Game of Thrones and ran for eight seasons; the number of episodes in each season varied. The final season, in 2019, had six episodes and the series finale was watched by 13 million people as it aired; with streaming and time shifted viewing included, that number rose to 19 million. It was, in my opinion, a very unsatisfying conclusion.

He still lives in Santa Fe and, inexplicably, follows the Jets and Giants.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.