John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (January 3, 1892 - September 2, 1973) was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the Oxford University from 1925 to 1945, and Professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959; he was also a fiction writer for his entire adult life, and it is for this latter pursuit that he is famous. His fascination with linguistics inspired him to invent several languages, later elaborating an entire cosmogony and history of Middle-earth as background.
He is best known as the father of modern high fantasy fiction with his fantasy novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He also did much critical work on Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He was one of the members of the literary discussion group The Inklings, and very close friends with C.S. Lewis.