Robert Jordan

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For other people named Robert Jordan, see Robert Jordan (disambiguation).
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan.jpg
Robert Jordan in 2005
Born James Oliver Rigney, Jr.
(1948-10-17)October 17, 1948
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Died September 16, 2007(2007-09-16) (aged 58)
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Occupation Novelist
Genre Fantasy
Notable works The Wheel of Time

James Oliver Rigney, Jr., (October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007) better known by his pen name Robert Jordan,[1] was an American author of epic fantasy. He is best known for The Wheel of Time series, which comprises 14 books and a prequel novel. Rigney also wrote historical fiction under his pseudonym Reagan O'Neal, a western as Jackson O'Reilly, and dance criticism as Chang Lung. Additionally, he ghostwrote an "international thriller" that is still believed to have been written by someone else.[2][3][4][5][6]


Early life and education[edit]

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 oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and 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.[7]

He began writing in 1977.

Personal life[edit]

He was a history buff and enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting. He described himself as a "High Church" Episcopalian[8] and received communion more than once a week.[9] He lived with his wife, Harriet McDougal, who works as a book editor (currently with Tor Books; she was also Jordan's editor) in a house built in 1797.[10] Responding to queries on the similarity of some of the concepts in his Wheel of Time books with Freemasonry concepts, Jordan admitted that he was a Freemason. However, "like his father and grandfather", he preferred not to advertise, possibly because of the negative propaganda against Freemasonry. In his own words, "no man in this country should feel in danger because of his beliefs."[11]


On March 23, 2006, Jordan disclosed in a statement[12] 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 announce that he intended to have a long and fully creative life.

He began chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in early April 2006.[13] Jordan was enrolled in a study using the drug Revlimid just approved for multiple myeloma but not yet tested on primary amyloidosis.[14]


Jordan died at approximately 2:45 p.m. EDT on September 16, 2007,[15] and his funeral service was held on Wednesday, September 19, 2007.[16] Jordan was cremated and his ashes buried in the churchyard of St. James Church in Goose Creek, outside Charleston, South Carolina.[17][18]

List of works by Robert Jordan[edit]

The Wheel of Time
Main article: The Wheel of Time


  1. ^ "Robert Jordan" was the name of the protagonist in the 1940 Hemingway novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.
  2. ^ Ross (September 2005). "Radio Dead Air Interview with Robert Jordan". Radio Dead Air. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  3. ^ "Science Fiction Book Club Interview with Robert Jordan". SFBC. January 2001. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  4. ^ Aan'allein (2001-04-04). "Leiden Signing Report". Emma de Laat. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  5. ^ "Barnes & Noble Chat with Robert Jordan". Seven Spokes. 1997-11-11. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  6. ^ Tahir Velimeev (September 2000). "Wanderer Fantasy Convention - Interview with Robert Jordan". Theoryland. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  7. ^ Jordan, Robert (June 1, 2007). Dragonmount, the Robert Jordan blog. p. 85  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Jordan, Robert (June 1, 2007). Dragonmount, the Robert Jordan blog. p. 85  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Jordan, Robert (September 27, 2007). Dragonmount, the Robert Jordan blog. p. 92  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved August 10, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Freemasonry and the Wheel of Time". 
  12. ^ "Statement from Robert Jordan about his health in Locus Magazine". 
  13. ^ Jordan, Robert (March 25, 2006). "Important note". Tor Books. 
  14. ^ Archived August 10, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Jordan's death.". Dragonmount. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  16. ^ "The Post and Courier". 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  17. ^ "Robert Jordan (1948 - 2007) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  18. ^ ""The Stone" - Entry in Robert Jordan's Blog at Dragonmount, dated October 6, 2008". Retrieved 2011-11-28. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "Robert Jordan". The Times. September 19, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007. 

External links[edit]