John Griffith Chaney, better known by his pen name Jack London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916), was an American novelist, journalist, and activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors to become an international celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing. He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction.
London was born in San Francisco, California, to a working-class family. He had a difficult childhood and spent much of his time on the streets, where he learned about the harsh realities of life. He also worked a variety of jobs, including as a sailor, factory worker, and oyster pirate.
In 1897, London joined the Alaska Gold Rush. He spent over a year in the Klondike, where he experienced the hardships of living in the Arctic wilderness. This experience would later provide the inspiration for many of his stories.
After returning from Alaska, London began writing seriously. He published his first short story in 1899 and his first novel, The Call of the Wild, in 1903. The Call of the Wild was an immediate success and made London a household name. He went on to write many other popular novels, including White Fang, Martin Eden, The Sea-Wolf, and The People of the Abyss.
London was a prolific writer and published over 50 books during his lifetime. He was also a social activist and wrote about issues such as poverty, class inequality, and animal rights.
London died in 1916 at the age of 40. He is considered one of the most important American authors of the early 20th century. His works continue to be read and enjoyed by people all over the world.