The Writer’s Almanac tells me that today is Jack London’s birthday, so I got some more details from Wikipedia: Born in 1876, he worked in a cannery, sailed as a pirate and as part of the California Fish Patrol, went to the Klondike with goldrush fever, got scurvy, bought a ranch and a yacht, amassed a library of 15,000 volumes, and died in 1914 of a morphine overdose.

I didn’t realize that he died so young–I guess children’s copies of The Call of the Wild don’t get into a lot of detail about death from alcoholism and accidental overdoses.