On This Day

J. R. R. Tolkien

Writer and Academic J. R. R. Tolkien

Full Name: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (Ronald)
Profession: Writer and Academic

Nationality:
United Kingdom
British

Why Famous: Although J. R. R. Tolkien spent most of his working life as an academic, he is most famous today as the author of the epic fantasy novels "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings".

Tolkien's academic areas of expertise were Old and Middle English and early European mythology and he drew on this knowledge to create his fantasy worlds, including inventing his own elvish languages.

Tolkien wrote his fantasy tales in his own time and mostly for his own amusement. From 1930 he came up with lighter versions of his stories for his children, resulting in "The Hobbit" his first book, published in 1937 and centering on the adventures of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

17 years later Tolkien published the darker and much longer "The Lord of the Rings" (1954) in three parts. It is one of the best-selling novels ever, selling over 150 million copies. Film director Peter Jackson produced a successful film trilogy of the novels (2001-2003) which won 17 Academy Awards.

Born: January 3, 1892
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: September 2, 1973 (aged 81)
Cause of Death: An ulcer

Married Life

  • 1916-03-22 British author "The Lord of the Rings", J.R.R. Tolkien marries Edith Mary Bratt at St. Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church, Warwick

Events in the Life of J. R. R. Tolkien

  • 1937-09-21 J. R. R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' is published by George Allen and Unwin in London
  • 1954-07-29 Publication of "Fellowship of the Ring" 1st volume of "Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien published by George Allen and Unwin in London
  • 1954-11-11 Publication of "Two Towers", 2nd volume of "Lord of the Rings", by J. R. R. Tolkien by George Allen and Unwin in London
  • 1955-10-20 Publication of "The Return of the King", the 3rd and final volume of "The Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien by George Allen and Unwin in London
  • 2001-12-10 "The Fellowship of the Ring" Lord of the Rings film directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen premieres in London
  • 2001-12-19 "The Fellowship of the Ring", 1st Lord of the Rings film is released. Makes US$47 million US opening weekend, $871 million total worldwide.
  • 2002-02-24 55th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAS): "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" Best Film, Peter Jackson Best Director
  • 2002-12-05 "The Two Towers" 2nd Lord of the Rings film directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen premieres in New York
  • 2002-12-18 "The Two Towers", 2nd of the Lord of the Rings films is released. Makes US$62 opening weekend and $926 million total worldwide.
  • 2003-12-01 "The Return of the King", 3rd and final film in the Lord of the Rings series, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen premieres in Wellington, New Zealand
  • 2004-01-10 9th Critics' Choice Movie Awards: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King wins Best Film
  • 2004-01-25 61st Golden Globes: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", Sean Penn, and Charlize Theron win
  • 2004-02-15 57th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAS): "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" Best Film, Peter Weir Best Director
  • 2004-02-29 76th Academy Awards: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," Sean Penn & Charlize Theron win
  • 2017-06-01 “Beren and Lúthien,” compiled and edited by Christopher Tolkien from his father J.R.R. Tolkien's archives is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Quotes by J. R. R. Tolkien

  • "The significance of a myth is not easily to be pinned on paper by analytical reasoning."

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