Douglas Noël Adams (March 11, 1952 — May 11, 2001) was a cult British comic radio dramatist, amateur musician and author, most notably of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a towel, a comic book series, a computer game and a feature film that was completed after Adams's death.
In addition to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams wrote or co-wrote three stories of science fiction staple Doctor Who, and served the series as script editor during the seventeenth season. His other written works include the Dirk Gently novels, and co-author credits on two Liff books and Last Chance to See, itself based on a radio series. A posthumous collection of essays and other material, including an incomplete novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.
Adams was a self-declared "radical atheist", though he used the term for emphasis, so that he would not be asked if he in fact meant agnostic. He did state that he was "fascinated by religion. "I love to keep poking and prodding at it. I've thought about it so much over the years that that fascination is bound to spill over into my writing." His fascination he ascribed to the fact that so many "otherwise rational... intelligent people... nevertheless take it [the existence of God] seriously."
His fans and friends also knew Adams as a lover of fast cars, cameras, the Macintosh computer, and other "techno gizmos." He was a keen technologist, using such inventions as e-mail and Usenet before they became widely popular, or even widely known. Adams was an "Apple Master," one of several celebrities whom Apple made into spokespeople for its products. He was also an environmental activist, and towards the end of his life he was a sought-after lecturer on topics including technology and the environment.
Adams died of a heart attack at the age of 49 on May 11th, 2001, while working out at a private gym in Montecito, California. He is survived by his wife Jane and daughter Polly Jane Rocket.