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Joe Haldeman was born in 1943 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His family traveled and he lived in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Bethesda, Maryland and Anchorage, Alaska as a child. Haldeman married Mary Gay Potter in 1965. He received a bachelor of science degree in astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1967. That same year he was drafted into the Army and served as a combat engineer in Vietnam. He was wounded in combat and his wartime experience was the inspiration for War Year, his first novel. In 1975, he received a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. He currently resides in Gainesville, Florida and Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches writing at MIT.
Haldeman's most famous novel is The Forever War, inspired by his Vietnam experiences, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. He later turned it into a series. Haldeman also wrote two of the earliest original novels based on the 1960s Star Trek TV series universe, Planet of Judgment (August 1977) and World Without End (February 1979)