Science fiction author Richard Matheson dead at 87 | Reuters U.S. science-fiction and horror author Richard Matheson, whose novels and stories, including "I Am Legend" and "The Shrinking Man," were adapted for the big screen and television, has died, the Writers Guild of America said on Monday. He was 87. The Writer's Guild, of which Matheson was a member, did not announce where or when the author died nor a cause of death. Matheson, who was born in Allendale, New Jersey, in 1926 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, first began publishing science-fiction and horror stories in the 1950s. His 1954 horror novel "I Am Legend" is considered a landmark work in the genre, ushering in zombies and apocalyptic themes to post-World War Two America. The novel was adapted three times as a film, most recently in 2007 as a big-budget thriller starring Will Smith. Matheson also wrote the teleplay "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" in 1963 for "The Twilight Zone" television series.