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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (January 3, 1892 - September 2, 1973) was born in what is now called Free State Province in South Africa, but then known as the Orange Free State. He was called Ronald by his family. His father died when Tolkien was three years old, and his mother took him to live with her mother and father in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Best known for his books "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." He joined the British military in 1915 as a lieutenant, and his journey on a troop transport to the front inspired his poem "The Lonely Isle." He fought in several key battles before contracting trench fever in October of 1916. He married his long-time love Edith, in 1916, after years of separation due to his age and the wishes of his guardian. Together, he and Edith had four children.

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