Born on the 12th of January, 1876, the brilliant American novelist, journalist, social activist, as well as god of short stories Jack London came to be. Best known for his work such as his 1903 masterpiece Call of the Wild, Martin Eden, as well as White Fang, to name a few. His talent for literature was unmatched and influenced fellow literary superstars Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, George Orwell, as well as Upton Sinclair. To find out more about this phenomenal writer, read on!
Here are 10 amazing facts about Jack London:
Fact 1: Jack London has had his fair share of hardship. His mother Flora Wellman, in particular, more so. Back when she shacked up with Jack’s biological father, William Chaney was so enraged that she got pregnant that he beat her senseless, and demanded that she get an abortion. Flora went so far as committing suicide twice, one by an overdose and the second by a shot to the head. The drama even headlined as a story in San Francisco’s newspaper entitled “Discarded Wife”. Eventually, the heat had William packing, and gave way to Flora meeting John London, who promptly took in Jack as his own.
Fact 2: He had a foster mother named Virginia Prentiss. A former slave girl, the Prentiss and London residences were situated right by each other, which was convenient, because Jack went from home to home. The first time, when his mother was too sick to care for him and didn’t want him, and the second, when the mother relented and thought about receiving him once more. Virginia Prentiss remained a strong and significant maternal figure to Jack London.
Fact 3: Jack used to work in a cannery, rendering about 12-18 hours. Fed up with all the hard work and low pay, he decided to enter the oyster business. He borrowed 300$ from Virginia Prentiss, only to have the business fail as well. Later, he was employed by the local fishing boats. He’s made his rounds, beginning work from the tender age of 10. From selling newspapers on the streets, to working in bowling alleys, and even the ice wagon business! If you can imagine it, he probably has done it.
Fact 4: London dedicated himself to write at least 1,000 words a day. This was to ready himself for more serious writing career, in order to support his mother and himself. That 1,000 words a day thing finally paid off when the fruit of his labor hit sales and he was known worldwide for his masterpieces such as White Fang, as well as Call of The Wild, to name a few.
Fact 5: The phenomenal writer, having nothing else but an eighth grade education to his name, came out from nowhere and bagged the 25$ prize at a competition, besting some of the best from Berkley and Stanford college students!
Fact 6: London struggled with immensely poor health all his life, due in part to his poverty, environment, and alcoholism. Sadly, he died at the age of 40, due to a mix of morphine poisoning, as well as uremia.
Fact 7: He became a student and received education from the University of California at Berkley for one semester, before completely running out of money and having to drop out. Some say he stuck on and worked as a janitor for a little bit, before embarking on other ventures.
Fact 8: It was his experience following the Gold Rush at Klondike that his two books, Call of the Wild, as well as White Fang, were inspired.
Fact 9: You can add award winning stock breeder, social activism, and world crusader to the list of things Jack London is exceptional at.
Fact 10: His ranch and estate has now been transformed into the Jack London State Historical Park. By the time of his death, he was already a self made millionaire.