James Oliver Rigney, Jr. (October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007), better known by his pen name Robert Jordan, was an American author of epic fantasy. He taught himself to read when he was four with the incidental aid of a twelve-years-older brother and was tackling Mark Twain and Jules Verne by five.
He is best known for The Wheel of Time Audiobook series, which comprises 14 audiobooks and a prequel novel – one of the most important and best-selling series in the history of fantasy publishing with over 14 million copies sold in North America, and countless more sold abroad.
Robert Jordan began writing in 1977 and went on to write The Wheel of Time Audiobook. He is one of several writers to have written original Conan the Barbarian novels; his are highly acclaimed to this day. Rigney also wrote historical fiction under his pseudonym Reagan O’Neal, a western as Jackson O’Reilly, and dance criticism as Chang Lung. Additionally, he ghostwrote an “international thriller” that is still believed to have been written by someone else.
He was a history buff and enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, poker, chess, pool, and pipe-collecting. He described himself as a “High Church” Episcopalian and received communion more than once a week. He lived with his wife, Harriet McDougal, who works as a book editor (currently with Tor Books; she was also Jordan’s editor) in a house built in 1797.
Robert Jordan died on September 16, 2007, after a courageous battle with the rare blood disease amyloidosis.
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