John Griffith London (1876 – 1916) was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. John was in foster care as a baby because his single mother was too sick to care for him. The length of time is not clear - it was anywhere between 8 months & 2 years. Jack remained in contact with his foster mother, former slave Jenny Prentice, for the rest of his life. Jack left school at the mandatory leaving age of thirteen and did a range of precarious working class jobs until he decided he'd had enough and would become a writer. He went back to school at nineteen, and to university - briefly - the following year. His first collection of short stories was published when Jack was only twenty-four. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, Jack London was one of the first American authors to become an international celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing. He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction.