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London, Jack

Summary Article: London, Jack, (12 Jan 1876 – 22 Nov 1916) from The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia
Writer, born in San Francisco, California, USA. He is said to have been the illegitimate son of William Henry Chaney, an astrologer. His mother, a spiritualist, married John London shortly after Jack was born. He had little formal schooling although he was an avid reader, and he spent much of his youth on the Oakland, CA waterfront, where he worked at a variety of jobs, some of which were illegal, such as oyster pirating. In 1893 he worked on a ship that hunted seals from the Arctic to Japan. During 1894–5 he travelled as a hobo and oddjobber throughout Canada and the USA, at one point joining ‘Coxey’s army’ in its march to Washington, and was arrested for vagrancy in New York City. His experiences and reading (including the ‘Communist Manifesto’) convinced him that he was a Socialist, and on returning to California he briefly enrolled at the University of California and tried to sell his early writings.Beginning his res...    Continue Reading

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