Jack London Biography | Author of To Build a Fire

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Jack London was born in 1876 in San Francisco, California, to Flora Wellman, whose common-law husband left her upon learning that she was pregnant. London took his surname from his stepfather, John London, whom his mother married shortly after her son's birth. The family settled in Oakland, California, in 1886. London quit school at age fourteen and took a series of jobs along the Oakland waterfront, working in a cannery and as a longshoreman, making money by stealing from the oyster beds in San Francisco Bay, and, later, serving as a seaman on a ship bound for Japan. London traveled across the United States while still in his teens. Throughout his early experiences, he read intensively in both literature and philosophy. London enrolled in Oakland High School at age nineteen and completed his course study within a year.

The following year he joined the Socialist Labor Party and later briefly...

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This section contains 472 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Short Stories for Students
To Build a Fire from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.