Jack London was born in 1876 in San Francisco, California. His parents weren't married and he grew up with a foster mother. Growing up in a working class family, London had a tough childhood. Desperate to escape a life of hard labour and make his way by writing, London managed to scrape together enough money to go to the University of California. However, financial difficulties forced him to leave before he graduated. On July 12, 1897, aged 21, London and his sister's husband sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush. This time in the Northlands damaged his health and like so many other men who were malnourished in the goldfields, London developed scurvy. His gums became swollen and he lost his four front teeth. Inspired by his experiences during the gold rush, London went on to write stories which would make him a worldwide celebrity and a rich man. His most popular story, The Call of the Wild, was published in 1903 and was an instant bestseller. It was followed by White Fang in 1906. London was one of the first authors to make a fortune through his writing.