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Jack London (12.01.1876 - 22.11.1916) - American writer.

 / Jack London/  John Griffith "Jack" London was born on 12 January 1876 in San Francisco. His mother, Flora Wellman, lived in Ohio but then moved to San Francisco where she worked as a music teacher. It also known that she was interested in spiritualism. Some biographers suppose that Jack Londons father was William Chaney who lived with Flora Wellman in San Francisco. It is not known if Flora and William were legally married. The house where Jack London spent his childhood was destroyed after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

In 1885 London read Ouida's long Victorian novel Signa. Jack London maintained that this book was the beginning of his literary career. In 1886 he became acquainted with Ina Coolbrith who was a librarian in the Oakland Public Library. She encouraged Londons learning.

In 1889 he started working at Hickmotts Cannery. His working day lasted 12 to 18 hours. Afterwards Jack London bought the sloop Razzle-Dazzle and became an oyster pirate. After a while he came to Oakland and entered Oakland High School where he started writing articles for the schools magazine, The Aegis. The first work of London was Typhoon off the Coast of Japan in which he described his sailing experiences.

In 1896 Jack London entered the University of California, Berkeley but because of financial difficulties he left the university in a year. Jack London spent a lot of time at Heinolds saloon where he met Alexander McLean. He was a cruel captain whom the character Wolf Larsen in Londons novel is based.

At the age of 21 Jack London joined the Klondike Gold Rush. This period of life was a basis for some of his popular stories but his health declined there. As a result London had the scurvy. All the events in the Klondike were an incitement for him to write a short story To Build a Fire which is considered one of his best.

From 1898 Jack London started working intentionally to publish his writings. The first published work was To the Man on Trail. When London began his literary career the new printing technologies appeared. Consequently popular magazines became available for many people and in 1900 he could earn $2,500. In 1903 The Saturday Evening Post bought Londons work The call of the Wild for $750. In addition to that he sold the book rights to Macmillan for $2,000 and as a result London achieved a swift success. When London lived in Oakland he became acquainted with poet George Sterling who became his best friend. Sterling was described in Londons autobiographical novel Martin Eden as Russ Brissenden.

Jack Londons first marriage was in 1900. He married Elizabeth Bessie Maddern with whom he had two children: Joan and Bessie (later called Becky). But they divorced and London married Charmian Kittredge in 1905. They didnt have children because the first child died at birth and the second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.

Jack London died November 22, 1916. There are a lot of different suppositions about Londons death. Some people consider that he could commit a suicide but his death certificate gives the cause as uremia. His ashes were interred in Jack London State Historic Park, in Glen Ellen, California.



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