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In 1965, after various chronic health problems of Virginia's were traced back to altitude sickness, they moved to Santa Cruz, California, which is at sea level.They built a new residence in the adjacent village of Bonny Doon, California.He instead matriculated at Kansas City Community College and began vigorously petitioning Kansas Senator James A. In part due to the influence of the Pendergast political machine, he was admitted to the Naval Academy in June, 1925. As his second wife's alcoholism gradually spun out of control, Heinlein moved out and the couple filed for divorce.Heinlein's friendship with Virginia turned into a relationship and on October 21, 1948 — shortly after the decree nisi came through — they married in the town of Raton, New Mexico, shortly after setting up housekeeping in Colorado. As Heinlein's increasing success as a writer resolved their initial financial woes, they had a house custom built with various innovative features, later described in an article in Popular Mechanics.During a lengthy hospitalization, and inspired by his own experience while bed-ridden, he developed a design for a waterbed.
Ginny acted as the first reader of his manuscripts.
The outlook and values of this time and place (in his own words, "The Bible Belt") had a definite influence on his fiction, especially his later works, as he drew heavily upon his childhood in establishing the setting and cultural atmosphere in works like Time Enough for Love and To Sail Beyond the Sunset. Heinlein also served as gunnery officer aboard the destroyer USS Roper in 19, reaching the rank of lieutenant.
As a young child, the 1910 appearance of Halley's Comet inspired his life-long interest in astronomy. Heinlein was frequently interviewed during his later years by military historians who asked him about Captain King and his service as the commander of the U. His second marriage in 1932 to Leslyn Mac Donald (1904–1981) lasted for 15 years.
When Heinlein graduated from Central High School in Kansas City in 1924, he aspired to a career as an officer in the US Navy. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, with the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering, ranking fifth in his class academically but with a class standing of 20th of 243 due to disciplinary demerits. He advanced to lieutenant, junior grade while serving aboard the new aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1931, where he worked in radio communications, then in its earlier phases, with the carrier's aircraft. King, who served as the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief, U. Mac Donald was, according to the testimony of Heinlein's Navy friend, Rear Admiral Cal Laning, "astonishingly intelligent, widely read, and extremely liberal, though a registered Republican," At the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard Heinlein met and befriended a chemical engineer named Virginia "Ginny" Gerstenfeld.
However, he was initially prevented from attending the US Naval Academy at Annapolis because his older brother Rex was a student there, and regulations discouraged multiple family members from attending the Academy simultaneously. Navy exerted a strong influence on his character and writing. Shortly after graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign by the U. After the war, her engagement having fallen through, she moved to UCLA for doctoral studies in chemistry and made contact again.