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Aldous Leonard Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, on 26th July 1894.
He was educated for a time by his mother and then entered Oxford University and obtained a degree in English Literature.
As a young man he contracted the eye disease keratitis punctate, that left him, to all intents, blind for almost three years until partial sight was restored. It was to trouble him for the rest of his life.
During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor, near Oxford, working as a farm labourer where he met several members of the Bloomsbury set.
In 1919 he met and quickly married the Belgian refugee Maria Nys. Their son, Matthew, was born on 19th April 1920.
By now he had written several volumes of poetry and some short stories. Now he pursued novels.
In ‘Crome Yellow’ (1921) he caricatured the Garsington lifestyle. He followed up with further social satires, ‘Antic Hay’ (1923), ‘Those Barren Leaves’ (1925), and ‘Point Counter Point’ (1928).
In 1937 Huxley moved to Hollywood with his wife and child. He would live in the U.S., mainly in southern California, and for a time in Taos, New Mexico, until his death.
As a Hollywood screenwriter Huxley used much of his earnings to bring Jewish and left-wing writer and artist refugees from Hitler's Germany to the US. He worked for many of the major studios including MGM and Disney.
In 1953, Huxley and Maria applied for United States citizenship. When Huxley refused to bear arms for the U.S. and would not state his objections, he had to withdraw his application. Nevertheless, he remained in the U.S.
In the spring of 1953, Huxley had his first experience with the psychedelic drug mescaline. Undoubtedly, he was drawn to their mind-altering powers and was a firm believer thereafter.
In 1955, Maria Huxley died of cancer.
The following year, 1956, Huxley married Laura Archera, also an author, as well as a violinist and psychotherapist. She would later write ‘This Timeless Moment’, a biography of Huxley.
Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 1960; in the years that followed, with his health deteriorating, he wrote the Utopian novel ‘Island’, and gave lectures on "Human Potentialities".
On his deathbed, unable to speak due to advanced laryngeal cancer, Huxley made a written request to Laura for "LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular." She obliged with an injection at 11:20 a.m. and a second dose an hour later; Aldous Leonard Huxley died aged 69, at 5:20 p.m. on 22nd November 1963.