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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892 - 1973)

A photo of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
1892 - 1973
Born
January 3, 1892
Bloemfontein, Motheo County, FS, South Africa
Death
September 2, 1973
Bournemouth, Dorset County, England, United Kingdom
Other Names
J R R Tolkien, Ronald
Summary
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien of Bournemouth, Dorset County, England United Kingdom was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, Motheo County, FS South Africa to Arthur Reuel Tolkien and Mabel (Suffield) Tolkien. He had a brother Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien. John was baptized in June 1900 at Roman Catholic Church in Birmingham, West Midlands County, England United Kingdom. He married Edith Mary Tolkien on March 22, 1916, and they were married until Edith's death on November 29, 1971. John and Edith had children John Francis Reuel Tolkien, Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien, Christopher John Reuel Tolkien, and Priscilla Mary Anne Reuel Tolkien. John Tolkien died at age 81 years old on September 2, 1973 in Bournemouth, Dorset County, and was buried on September 6, 1973 at Wolvercote Cemetery Banbury Rd, in Oxfordshire County.
Updated: October 14, 2022
Biography ID: 192780761

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About John

Introduction

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, best known as J.R.R. Tolkien, was a writer, poet, and academic likely best remembered by most for his high fantasy works The Hobbit (published in 1937) and The Lord of the Rings (published in 1954).

John Tolkien's parents were Arthur Reuel Tolkien (1857 -1896) and Mabel Suffield (1870 - 1904). He had one brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien, born 1894 in South Africa.

Born in South Africa where his father was a bank manager, Tolkien moved to England with his mother when he was 3. He was home schooled by her until she died when he was 12. His father had died earlier, leaving him and his younger brother orphans. After that, the boys were raised by a Catholic priest and were sent to King Edward's School and later, Oxford. He went on to marry and have four children.

John Tolkien married Edith Mary Bratt (1889 - 1971) on March 22, 1916, in Warwick, Warwickshire, England, in St. Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church. They had three sons: John Francis (1917 - 2003), Michael Hilary (1920 - 1984), and Christopher (born 1924) and one daughter, Priscilla (1929 - 2022).

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973) wrote books and poetry, as well as being a distinguished Professor at Oxford University. Best known for "The Hobbit" published in 1937, and "The Lord of the Rings" published during the years of 1954 - 1955, his son Christopher posthumously gathered his old notes and manuscripts to create "The Silmarillion", which had 5 parts.

A friend of C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien is credited with being the father of "high fantasy".
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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Most commonly known as
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Full legal name
J R R Tolkien, Ronald
Other names or aliases

Name & aliases

Bournemouth, Dorset County, England United Kingdom
Last place lived

Last residence

January 3, 1892
Birthday
Bloemfontein, Motheo County, FS South Africa
Birth location

Birth details

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Ethnicity & Family History

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was Caucasian. He was of English heritage. The family was originally from East Prussia (in the 1600s).

Nationality & Locations

John Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa and was raised in England.

Education

John Tolkien attended King Edward's School, then because he couldn't afford the tuition, he transferred to St. Philip's School. When he received a scholarship, he again returned to King Edward's School. He went on to attend Exeter College at Oxford University and graduated in 1915, with first-class honors.

Religion

June 1900
Baptism date
Roman Catholic Church in Birmingham, West Midlands County, England United Kingdom
Place of worship

Baptism date & location

Was John a religious man?

Professions

From 1925 - 1945, John Tolkein was a Professor of Anglo-Saxon history at Pembroke College at Oxford University. From 1945 - 1959, he was a Professor of English Language and Literature at Merton College, Oxford.

Personal Life

Married once to Edith Bratt, John Tolkien and Edith had three sons. He was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church with his mother in 1900. The rest of the family was opposed to the move.

Military Service

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusilliers and trained with the 13th Reserve Battalion. He served in World War I: Transferred to the 11th Service Battalion of the British Expeditionary Force, he arrived in France. He trained as a signals officer, then was sent to the Somme. Participated in assaults on the Schwaben Redoubt and the Leipzig Salient. John then was Invalided back to England after a case of trench fever (diagnosed 27 October 1916). He had numerous other health problems, which had removed him from combat on several occasions.
September 2, 1973
Death date
Bournemouth, Dorset County, England United Kingdom
Death location
Stomach ulcer
Cause of death

Death details

September 6, 1973
Funeral date
Wolvercote Cemetery Banbury Rd, in Oxfordshire County, England OX2 8EE, United Kingdom
Burial location

Gravesite & burial

Obituary

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John Tolkien passed away at age 81 years old on September 2, 1973 in Bournemouth, Dorset County, and was buried on September 6, 1973 at Wolvercote Cemetery Banbury Rd, in Oxfordshire County. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien of Bournemouth, Dorset County, England United Kingdom was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, Motheo County, FS South Africa to Arthur Reuel Tolkien and Mabel (Suffield) Tolkien. He had a brother Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien. John was baptized in June 1900 at Roman Catholic Church in Birmingham, West Midlands County, England United Kingdom. He married Edith Mary Tolkien on March 22, 1916, and they were married until Edith's death on November 29, 1971. John and Edith had children John Francis Reuel Tolkien, Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien, Christopher John Reuel Tolkien, and Priscilla Mary Anne Reuel Tolkien.

Average Age & Life Expectancy

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien lived 11 years longer than the average Tolkien family member when he died at the age of 81.
The average age of a Tolkien family member is 70.
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Family Tree

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1892 - 1973 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during John's lifetime.

In 1892, in the year that John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born, on October 12th, the "Pledge of Allegiance" was first recited in unison by students in U.S. public schools. Composed the previous August by Francis Bellamy, it was to be recited in 15 seconds and originally read: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." "Under God" was added in the 1950's.

In 1932, at the age of 40 years old, John was alive when on February 27th, actress Elizabeth Taylor was born in London. Her parents were Americans living in London and when she was 7, the family moved to Los Angeles. Her first small part in a movie was in There's One Born Every Minute in 1942 but her first starring role was in National Velvet in 1944. She became as famous for her 8 marriages (to 7 people) as she was for her beauty and films.

In 1943, when he was 51 years old, on September 3rd, the Armistice of Cassibile was signed in Sicily. Under the terms of the Armistice, Italy surrendered to the Allied Powers. After the Armistice was made public on September 8th, Germany attacked and occupied Italy. It took 20 months of fighting for the Allies to reach the northern borders of Italy.

In 1964, he was 72 years old when in June, three young civil rights workers - Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi - were kidnapped and murdered in Mississippi. Working with "Freedom Summer", they were registering African-Americans to vote in the Southern states. Their bodies were found two months later. Although it was discovered that the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff's Office and the Philadelphia, Mississippi Police Department were involved, only 7 men were convicted and served less than six years.

In 1973, in the year of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's passing, on January 28th, the Paris Peace Accord was signed - supposedly ending the Vietnam War. Hostilities continued between North and South Vietnam and the U.S. continued to bomb. But by August 15, 1973, 95% of American troops had left Vietnam. The war ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon.

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