Jack London, whose real name was John Griffith Chaney, was born 12th January 1876 in San Francisco, America.
A resounding theme in his literary work was one of a struggle to survive. London's upbringing and his experiences in later life would serve as the grounding for his unique style of writing.
Although deserted by his father, London was raised by his spiritualist mother who was known for her eccentricity. By the age of 14, London was developing a taste for adventure and he left school to work for a government fish patrol. He would later join the navy, and would explore most of America by travelling as a hobo on freight trains.
In 1897 Jack London travelled to the Klondike hoping to strike it rich in America's last gold rush. While he did not find gold in the harsh arctic wilderness, London did discover a wealth of material he would later fashion into two of his best known novels, Call of the Wild and White Fang.
Published in 1903, Call of the Wild benefited from the rise of the modern press and publishing industry, becoming immensely popular and launching London's career. Over the following years London wrote prolifically, drawing again on his Klondike adventure for White Fang and his experiences at sea as a young man for The Sea Wolf.
London died on 22nd November 1916.