125 years ago today, on January 3, 1892, The English author, poet, and professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein Africa.
Forty-five years later, in 1937, his book The Hobbit, was published which he had written for his children.
Together with its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, it launched generations of readers on adventures through the invented world of Middle-earth that would impact many of readers around the world.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, both of which would go on to become huge film franchises eventually.
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 classic high-fantasy genre.
This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature.
Tolkien began reading at the age of four. In 1915, he graduated from Exeter College, Oxford, with honors.
He would go on to serve in the British Army during World War I and later accept professorship in Anglo-Saxon literature at Pembroke College, Oxford.
Beyond his wildly popualr novels, he told his children stories, some of which he developed into those published posthumously as Mr. Bliss, Roverandom, and others.
In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009.
Happy birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!