J R R Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on January 3, 1892. He went on to have a renowned academic career after participating in World War I, and was regarded as one of the world's best philologists. Until his retirement in 1959, he was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College. He is, however, widely regarded as the creator of Middle-earth and the author of such classic works as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. At the age of eighty-one, he died on September 2, 1973.