Jack London Chronology

History/art/music/literature/inventions timeline of the period of the literary work of Jack London's life.




London was born on January 12 at 615 Third Street, San Francisco, California

Age 6


Started grade school in Alameda.

Age 9


Jack discovers the world of books upon reading Ouida's Signa and Irving's Tales of the Alhambra.

Age 10


March 27th, family bought a house in Oakland after living on farms in San Mateo County and Livermore. Discovered the Oakland public library would supply him with books; meets librarian Ina Coolbrith who helps him choose the right books for his inquisitive, but young mind.

Age 11


Jack enrolls at the Oakland Cole Grammar School, West Oakland, CA.

Age 14


Jack obtained a steady job in a salmon cannery at ten cents an hour

Age 15


Graduated from Cole Grammar School (eighth grade) and took job in cannery.

Age 17


Writes story Typhoon of the Coast of Japan first story ever written by Jack London for publication.

Age 18


Joins General Kelly's Army marching to Washington D.C. Traveled much of the U.S. and Canada and he was thrown in Erie County Penitentiary in Buffalo, N.Y. for vagrancy 30 days at hard labor. Wrote a book in 1907, The Road, based on these experiences.

Age 19


At nineteen he entered Oakland High School. Writes essays and short stories for the Oakland High School Aegis.



Aegis is the oldest high school newspaper in California. The newspaper puts out occasional print issues, but mostly publishes content on its website. Jack London wrote for the publication, and these stories were later collected into a book called "The Aegis."

Age 21


In September, short story, Two Gold Bricks is published in The Owl magazine (unknown to London) – John London (Jack's stepfather) dies in Oakland on October 14.

Age 22


Began writing nineteen hours a day. Submitted A Thousand Deaths to The Black Cat magazine, it was published May, 1899

Age 23


Jack's busiest year, wrote sixty-one new stories, jokes, poems, essays, triolets, etc. Made first sell to Overland Monthly, To the Man on the Trail He sold eight stories to Overland Monthly for seven dollars and fifty cents. Begins writing for a living.

Age 24


Published his first book. The Son of the Wolf

Age 24


April 7, married Bessie May Maddern.

Age 24


"An Odyssey of the North" is published in The Atlantic Monthly.

Age 25


Daughter Joan London is born on January 15th.

Age 26


Oct 20th Bess London is born.

Age 26


Dec. 1st starts writing The Call of the Wild as a short story.

Age 27


January 26, submitted The Call of the Wild to the Saturday to the Evening Post. Published The Kempton-Wace Letters and also People of the Abyss.

Age 27


Visited Glen Ellen and separates from his wife Bessie Maddern

Age 29


June 2nd, Jack and Charmian( his girlfriend) go see the Hill Ranch.June 7, pays $500.00 down on Hill Ranch, the first of seven land purchases making up his Beauty Ranch. – Jack and Charmian marry Nov. 19th in Chicago the day after the divorce from Bessie London became final. Jack published War of the Classes, The Game, and Tales of the Fish Patrol

Age 30


Begins to build the yacht "Snark" (named after a being in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland).

Moon-Face & other Stories published (Macmillan)

White Fang published (Macmillan)

Scorn of Women published (Macmillan)

In the background London writes his "great socialist novel" The Iron Heel

Age 31


The Snark sets sail

Stay in Hawwian Islands,
Visits and writes of the leper colony of Molokai

The Road published (Macmillan) his wonderful account of adventures as a hobo, a colorful painting of his time.

Age 33


Return to California, enforced by desease.
Martin Eden, autobiographical novel.

Age 37


On the surface the most successful year. Jack London´s - best money making author of the world

Age 39


War correspondent in Mexico.
The Star Rover, Novel about re-incarnation and a harsh pillory of punishment in state prisons.

Age 40


Dies on kidneys failure after 14 hours of agony on his Beauty-Ranch at Glen Ellen, Sonoma-County.