Born on this day: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973). English writer, poet, philologist, and academic best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
Although many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien,[the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. As a result, Tolkien has been widely identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature or, more precisely, of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”, while Forbes ranked him the fifth top-earning “dead celebrity” in 2009.