E.E. "Doc" SmithThe inventor of space opera. His purple space war tales remain well-read generations later.
Is it really bad that I've never heard of this guy?
Update: Okay, I was doing a little research on the guy and this made me laugh: "Yes, The Lensman Series, can easily be seen as the literary ancestor of Stargate SG-l and Stargate Atlantis because it is much more profound than reviews might make it seem. Seemingly a much derided Space Opera, the Lensman Series taken as a whole presents a true Hero (a man who will die rather than betray his ethical and moral standards)who, like our best detectives, won't stop until he's solved the mystery he only suspects might be there. The Lensman Series presents an idea about Earth's History that has the same eerie plausibility that I find in the Stargate Saga."