Jack London: Biography

Topics: Jack London, Klondike Gold Rush, Family Pages: 4 (1301 words) Published: October 29, 2012
Jack London : Biography

     "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club" (BrainyQuote). This is one of Jack London's more well known quotes. Jack London was born as John Griffith Chaney on January 12, 1876, in San Francisco("Jack London"). His mother was Flora Wellman and his father was suspected to be astrologer William H. Chaney, who denied his paternity and abandoned London's mother(Wilson). London was suckled, or nursed, by an ex-slave named Virginia Prentiss, who remained close to London for the rest of his life ("Jack London International"). London had been born into a poor family, who had moved around constantly. His mother married John London. London was given his stepfather's last name, and gained two stepsisters, Eliza and Ida London. In 1878, Jack and Eliza suffer from near-fatal accounts of diphtheria (Wilson). Then, at age five in 1881, Jack London had his first experience with alcohol, getting drunk out of a beer pail he was supposed to take to his stepfather. London narrowly escaped being beheaded when stumbling along next to the plough his stepfather was driving(Walker).

     It is when the family moved to Oakland, London at age ten, that he started his first job, selling newspapers. He was known to visit Johnny Heinold at Johnny's First and Last Chance Saloon on the waterfront, and was an avid reader at the Oakland Free Library (Wilson). He changed his name from "Johnny" to "Jack" in 1887(Wilson). He continued to do odd jobs to earn money. London started working a job in a salmon cannery in 1890, earning ten cents an hour(Walker). "I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself." In 1891 he bought a ship and began to work as an oyster pirate on the ship, called "The Razzle Dazzle". He became so good that he was referred to as the "Prince of the Oyster Pirates"("Jack London International"). He did not mind that he was breaking the law, because he was content with being payed as he...
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