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Jack London was born John Griffith Chaney on January 12, 1876, in San Francisco, California. After working in the Klondike, London returned home and began publishing stories. His novels, including The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Martin Eden, placed London among the most popular American authors of his time. London, who was also a journalist and an outspoken socialist, died in 1916.
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John Griffith "Jack" London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a passionate advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers. He 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. In 1889, he began working 12 to 18 hours a day at Hickmott's Cannery. Seeking a way out, he borrowed money from his foster mother Virginia Prentiss, bought the sloop Razzle-Dazzle from an oyster pirate named French Frank, and became an oyster pirate. In 1893, he signed on to the sealing schooner Sophie Sutherland, bound for the coast of Japan. When he returned, the country was in the grip of the panic of '93 and Oakland was swept by labor unrest. After grueling jobs in a jute mill and a street-railway power plant, he joined Kelly's Army and began his career as a tramp. In 1894, he spent 30 days for vagrancy in the Erie County Penitentiary at Buffalo, New York. On July 12, 1897, London (aged 21) and his sister's husband Captain Shepard sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush. This was the setting for some of his first successful stories. His time in the Klondike, however, was detrimental to his health. Like so many other men who were malnourished in the goldfields, he developed scurvy.
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