Archives On The Air 121: Jack London "Prince Of The Oyster Pirates"—Earnest Hill Papers About Jack

Feb 25, 2019

Famed writer Jack London was born to a poor family in 1876. He grew up in San Francisco. In his youth London poached coastal oysters. He sold them to restaurants.

While poaching oysters he befriended sailors and shady characters. They called him the "prince of the oyster pirates."

Jack London lived a full life. He marched with workers. He went to prison for vagrancy. He attended Berkley for one year. Then ran out of money. At 21 he went to Alaska for the gold rush.

London wrote in many genres. The Alaska wilderness is a common theme in his works.

Earnest Hill was a big fan of Jack London. He became friends with London's widow.

The Earnest Hill papers at UW's American Heritage Center contain traces of Jack London from his wife and a devoted fan.