AKA James Oliver Rigney, Jr.
Birthplace: Charleston, SC
Location of death: Rochester, MN
Cause of death: Amyloidosis
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wheel of Time series
Military service: US Army (two tours in Vietnam, 1968-70); US Navy (nuclear engineer)
Born James Rigney, Robert Jordan was a decorated Vietnam veteran with a degree in Physics from South Carolina military college the Citadel, and a former Navy nuclear engineer. Jordan began writing in 1978 while confined to bed after an life-threatening injury.
His first book, The Fallon Pride (1981) was written under the pseudonym Reagan O'Neal. A work of American historical fiction, it was followed by several more books (including two more Fallon novels and a western called The Cheyenne Raiders), all written under the new pen name Jackson O'Reilly. In 1982 he found a new direction -- and a new name. As Robert Jordan he provided the novelization of the Conan film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, a project which would lead him to create several brand new Conan tales. Building on the legacy of Robert Howard's 1930s Conan series, Jordan published nearly a dozen Conan books. Finally, in 1990 he published The Eye of the World, the first of what would be more than a dozen novels in his own bestselling The Wheel of Time series.
Married to former Ace Books Editorial Director Harriet McDougal, Jordan/Rigney listed his hobbies as hunting, fishing, sailing, poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting. Although typically reckoned as a lifelong resident of Charleston South Carolina, he said of himself, "I live in the Two Rivers. Check a map."
In 2006, Jordan announced that he had been diagnosed with amyloidosis with cardiomyapathy. He passed away from the disease in 2007.
Wife: Harriet McDougal (editor at Ace Books, m. 1979 or 1980)
Son: Will (b. circa 1969)
University: BS Physics, The Citadel (1974)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Author of books:
Conan the Defender (1982)
King of Thieves (1984)
Conan the Destroyer (1984)
The new adventures of Conan (1985)
Conan the Invincible (1990)
The Eye of the World (1990)
The Great Hunt (1990)
The Dragon Reborn (1991)
The Shadow Rising (1992)
The Fires of Heaven (1993)
Lord of Chaos (1994)
The Conan Chronicles (1995)
A Crown of Swords (1996)
The Path of Daggers (1998)
Snow: The Prologue to Winter's Heart (2000)
From the Two Rivers (2002)
To the Blight (2002)
The Hunt Begins (2004)
New Threads In The Pattern (2004)
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