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In his day, Jack London was the most famous and best-paid writer in the United States. In the tradition begun by Mark Twain, London was a self-invented celebrity - a dashing, romantic adventurer, often in the news. His many vocations included stints as a sailor, a hobo, an oyster pirate, a Klondike gold prospector, a worker in a fish cannery, and a war correspondent. But his true calling was as a writer. He published in 51 books - novels, short stories, lectures, collections of articles - and penned thousands of letters. Here’s his surprising story.