Jack London

(1876 – 1916)

Jack LondonBiographical Sketch

John Griffith “Jack” London (born John Griffith Chaney; San Francisco, CA, USA, January 12, 1876 – Glen Ellen, CA, USA, November 22, 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. He is best remembered as the author of The Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906), both set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories To Build a FireAn Odyssey of the North, and Love of Life. He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as The Pearls of Parlay and The Heathen, and of the San Francisco Bay area in the novel The Sea Wolf (1904).

London was a passionate advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers and wrote several powerful works dealing with these topics such as his dystopian novel The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss, and The War of the Classes.

London was a robust man in his youth, but suffered several serious illnesses, including scurvy in the Klondike. At the time of his death, he suffered from dysentery and uremia and late stage alcoholism. During travels on their yacht Snark, especially a 1907 cruise to Hawaii and Australia, he and his second wife Charmian may also have picked up tropical infections. He died November 22, 1916, in a sleeping porch in a cottage on his ranch. He was in extreme pain and taking morphine, and it is possible that a morphine overdose, accidental or deliberate, may have contributed to his death. His death certificate gives the cause as uremia, following acute renal colic. Many older sources describe London’s death as a suicide; this conjecture appears to be a rumor, however, or speculation based on incidents in his writings, which featured several suicides or near-suicides; perhaps most notably so the semi-autobiographical novel Martin Eden (1909) and the memoir John Barleycorn (1913), which deals with his struggles with alcoholism.

Read more about Jack London on Wikipedia.



Novels and Novellas
  • A Daughter of the Snows (1902)
  • The Cruise of the Dazzler (1902)
  • The Kempton-Wace Letters (1903)
    – With Anna Strunsky.
  • The Call of the Wild (1903)
  • The Sea Wolf (1904)
  • White Fang (1905)
  • The Game (1905)
  • The Human Drift (1907)
  • Before Adam (1907)
  • The Iron Heel (1908)
  • Martin Eden (1909)
  • Burning Daylight (1910)
  • The Abysmal Brute (1911)
  • Adventure (1911)
  • The Scarlet Plague (1912)
  • The Valley of the Moon (1913)
  • The Mutiny of the Elsinore (1914)
  • The Star Rover (1915)
  • The Little Lady of the Big House (1915)
  • Jerry of the Islands (1917)
  • Michael, Brother of Jerry (1917)
  • Hearts of Three (1918)
Short Story Collections
  • The Son of the Wolf and Other Tales of the North (1900)
  • The God of His Fathers and Other Stories (1901)
  • Children of the Frost (1902)
  • The Faith of Men and Other Stories (1904)
  • Tales of the Fish Patrol (1905)
  • Moon Face and Other Stories (1906)
  • Love of Life and Other Stories (1907)
  • Lost Face (1910)
  • When God Laughs and Other Stories (1911)
  • South Sea Tales (1911)
  • A Son of the Sun (1912)
  • The House of Pride and Other Tales of Hawaii (1912)
  • Smoke Bellew (1912)
  • The Night Born (1913)
  • The Strength of the Strong (1914)
  • The Turtles of Tasman (1916)
  • The Red One (1918)
  • On the Makaoloa Mat (1919)
  • Dutch Courage and Other Stories (1922)
  • Revolution and Other Essays (1909)
  • The Human Drift (1917)
  • Scorn of Women (1906)
  • The Acorn-Planter: A California Forest Play (1916)
  • Gold (1972)
    With Herbert Herron.
Memoirs, Correspondence and Nonfiction
  • People of the Abyss (1903)
  • War of the Classes (1905)
  • The Road (1907)
  • The Cruise of the Snark (1911)
  • John Barleycorn (1913)
  • The Letters of Jack London (1988)
  • The Wit & Wisdom of Jack London: A Collection of Quotations from His Writing and Letters (2001)
Online editions of Jack London’s works:


A Favorite Quote

The Turtles of Tasman

“I’d rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.”

Find more quotes by Jack London on Wikiquote and Goodreads.