Dean of Science Fiction

The title Dean of Science Fiction was first applied to Murray Leinster by Time Magazine in a May 30, 1949 article: "In the U.S., Will F. Jenkins, a 27-year veteran, who also writes under the pen name of Murray Leinster, is regarded as the dean of writers in the field." Leinster noted that he was "called 'Dean' of science fiction writers by virtue of my having outlived a number of better men."

The title was first applied to Heinlein around 1960. (But, see also Most Senior SF Writer.)

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
By general tradition, Robert A. Heinlein. (At one point, a mundane TV talk show host introduced Ray Bradbury as the DoSF, and a viewing fan muttered, "Nonsense, he's a guest lecturer in Gothic Literature.")