Jack London was born in San Francisco in 1876, the son of an unmarried spiritualist, Flora Wellmann, who later wed John London, a Civil War veteran. Much of Jack's childhood was spent in delinquency, and after several temporary itinerant jobs, he took part in the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897. Even though the trip was not a success, he drew on his experiences to write powerful stories. One of these, The Call of the Wild, brought him fame as an author, although he remained financially insecure for the rest of his life. He died in 1916 leaving behind an array of books on an astonishing range of subjects.