Robert Jordan

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Robert Jordan

Born October 17, 1948(1948-10-17)
Charleston, South Carolina
Died September 16, 2007 (aged 58)
Charleston, South Carolina
Occupation Novelist
Genres Fantasy
Notable work(s) The Wheel of Time

Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr. (October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007), under which he was best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the names Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reilly.


[edit] Biography

Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He served two tours in Vietnam (from 1968 to 1970) with the United States Army as a helicopter gunner. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. After returning from Vietnam he attended The Citadel where he received an undergraduate degree in physics. After graduating he was employed by the United States Navy as a nuclear engineer. He began writing in 1977. He was a history buff and enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting. He described himself as a "High Church" Episcopalian[1] and received communion more than once a week.[2] He lived in a house built in 1797 with his wife Harriet McDougal, who works as a book editor (currently with Tor Books; she was also Jordan's editor).[3]

[edit] Illness

On March 23, 2006, Jordan disclosed in a statement[4] that he had been diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, and that with treatment, his median life expectancy was four years, though he said he intended to beat the statistics. He later posted on his Dragonmount blog to encourage his fans not to worry about him and that he intended to have a long and fully creative life, working for another 30 years.

He began chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in early April 2006.[5] Jordan was enrolled in a study using the drug Revlimid just approved for multiple myeloma but not yet tested on primary amyloidosis.

Jordan died at approximately 2:45 p.m. EDT on September 16, 2007,[6] and a funeral service was held for him on Wednesday, September 19, 2007. [7] His life will be subject of the feature length documentary The Wit of the Staircase: The Life and Works of Robert Jordan. [8] Jordan was cremated and his ashes buried at an Episcopal church plot somewhere outside Charleston, the exact location left undisclosed by the family.[9][10]

[edit] The Wheel of Time

Jordan published eleven books of a projected twelve total in the main sequence of the Wheel of Time series. Reviewers and fans of the earlier books noted a slowing of the pace of events in the last few installments due to the expansion of scale of the series as a whole.[11]

Due to his health problems, Jordan did not work at full force on the final installment A Memory of Light, but blog entries confirmed that he continued work on it until his death, and he shared all of the significant plot details with his family not long before he died.[12] He maintained that in doing so the book will get published even if "the worst actually happens".[13] On December 7, 2007 Tor Books announced that Brandon Sanderson had been chosen to finish the Wheel of Time series. Jordan's widow chose him after reading his Mistborn series.[14]

Chapter summaries for the first eleven Wheel of Time books can be found here.

  1. The Eye of the World (15 January 1990)
  2. The Great Hunt (15 November 1990)
  3. The Dragon Reborn (15 October 1991)
  4. The Shadow Rising (15 September 1992)
  5. The Fires of Heaven (15 October 1993)
  6. Lord of Chaos (15 October 1994)
  7. A Crown of Swords (15 May 1996)
  8. The Path of Daggers (20 October 1998)
  9. Winter's Heart (9 November 2000)
  10. Crossroads of Twilight (7 January 2003)
  11. Knife of Dreams (11 October 2005)
  12. A Memory of Light (now due to be split into three volumes projected for 2009, 2010 and 2011)[15]

In addition to the main sequence, Robert Jordan also wrote some accessory works:

  • The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time (6 November 1997, reference book, written in collaboration with Teresa Patterson)
    • This reference book includes "The Strike at Shayol Ghul", a short story published online in 1996 which was republished in print as part of this reference book
  • New Spring (October 1998, novella, published in Tor's Legends anthology, edited by Robert Silverberg; the story is located in the third volume of the paperback edition; the hardcover is one volume)
    • New Spring (January 2004, novel, an expanded work superseding the earlier novella)
  • From The Two Rivers, a repackaging of the first half of The Eye Of The World for a younger market, includes an additional prologue titled Ravens.
  • To the Blight, a repackaging of the second half of The Eye of the World for a younger market.
  • The Hunt Begins, a repackaging of the first half of The Great Hunt for a younger market.
  • New Threads in the Pattern, a repackaging of the second half of The Great Hunt for a younger market.

[edit] Other work

[edit] Fallon

(under the pen name "Reagan O'Neal")

[edit] Conan the Barbarian

Jordan was one of several writers who have written new Conan the Barbarian stories.

  1. Conan the Invincible (1982)
  2. Conan the Defender (1982)
  3. Conan the Unconquered (1983)
  4. Conan the Triumphant (1983)
  5. Conan the Magnificent (1984)
  6. Conan the Destroyer (1984)
  7. Conan the Victorious (1984)

Some bibliographies also include Conan: King of Thieves; this however, was actually the working title of the second Conan movie, Conan the Destroyer, and hence Jordan's novelization. Jordan had already been hired to do the novelization and Tor had already applied for an ISBN when the title was changed to Conan the Destroyer.[16]

They were packed into two separate volumes:

Jordan also compiled a well-known Conan Chronology.

[edit] Infinity of Heaven

Jordan mentioned several times that he planned another fantasy series set in a different kind of world. He said that it would be a Shōgun-esque series about a man in his 30s who is shipwrecked in an unknown culture and world. The books would detail his adventures there, and would have been titled Infinity of Heaven.[17]

He said that he would have begun writing these after finishing his work on the twelfth and final main sequence book of The Wheel of Time. Jordan said, "Infinity of Heaven almost certainly will be written before the prequels, though I might do them between the Infinity books." Also according to, Jordan planned to write some side-story novels, before completely abandoning his decades-long work. Jordan had particularly stressed that this series would be significantly shorter than The Wheel of Time saga (about 6 books long and essentially two trilogies).

[edit] Other works

[edit] Notes

[edit] Further reading

"Robert Jordan". The Times. 2007-09-19. Retrieved on 2007-09-22. 

[edit] External links

NAME Jordan, Robert
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Rigney, James Oliver Jr.; O'Neal, Reagan
SHORT DESCRIPTION American novelist
DATE OF BIRTH 17 October 1948
PLACE OF BIRTH Charleston, South Carolina
DATE OF DEATH 16 September 2007
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