John W. Campbell Jr. first started writing in 1930 when his first short story, When the Atoms Failed, was accepted by a science-fiction magazine. At that time he was twenty years old and still a student at college. As the title of the story indicates, he was even at that time occupied with the significance of atomic energy and nuclear physics.
For the next seven years, Campbell, bolstered by a scientific background that ran from childhood experiments, to study at Duke University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote and sold science-fiction, achieving for himself an enviable reputation in the field.
In 1937 he became the editor of Astounding Stories magazine and applied himself at once to the task of bettering the magazine and the field of s-f writing in general. He remained as the editor of that magazine's evolved and redesigned successor, Analog. His influence on science-fiction since then has been great.