Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

In memoriam: Author, psychiatrist Janet Asimov dies

Vol. 36 No. 05 June/July 2019
Janet Asimov                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Janet Jeppson Asimov, author, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and widow of Isaac Asimov, died on Feb. 25.

She was 92. She was born Aug. 6, 1926. She earned a B.A. degree from Stanford University, an M.D. degree from New York University Medical School, completing a residency in psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital.

In 1960, she graduated from the William Alanson White Institute of Psychoanalysis, where she continued to work until 1986. After her marriage to Isaac Asimov on Nov. 30, 1973, she continued to practice psychiatry and psychoanalysis under the name Janet O. Jeppson, and she published medical papers under that name. She was also the former director of training at the William Alanson White Institute and a former science columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

According to the Encyclopedia for Science Fiction, most of her science fiction was for children. Her books include The Second Experiment, The Last Immortal, Mind Transfer and Murder at the Galactic Writers’ Society.

With her husband, she wrote the Norby Chronicles series, tales for young readers starring a robot. She also edited a selection of his letters called It’s Been a Good Life: Isaac Asimov.

“I met with Janet and photographed her for my book A Better Life, and she is the first person featured in the project to die,” writes author Chris Johnson. “She was rather shy, and a very private person, but was also kind and generous. She gave me a copy of her late husband’s book Nine Tomorrows as a gift since she mentioned it was a favorite of hers, and one that she said didn’t get as much attention as some of his other, more well-known works. She wrote to me that, ‘Human life, like the universe itself, has a beginning, a middle, and an end — much as a good story does.’”