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J. R. R. Tolkien

Author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy; Born: January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa; Died: September 2, 1973 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Headshot of J. R. R. Tolkien


  • King Edward's School in Birmingham, 1911
  • B.A. in English Language and Literature with first-class honours, Exeter College, Oxford, 1915

J. R. R. Tolkien studied Latin and Greek in two Birmingham schools. Later, he attended Exeter College on a Classical Scholarship (1911-15). In college, Tolkien also studied a variety of other languages besides Greek and Latin, such as Old English, Gothic and other Germanic languages, Finnish, and Welsh.

While Tolkien was writing his Lord of the Rings trilogy, he worked for a time as an Assistant Lexikographer with the Oxford English Dictionary project, contributing, e.g., the articles "walrus" and "wasp".

In 1920, he started a career as an English professor. In 1959, he retired as the Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University.


Tolkien entry in the NNDB.

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