About Robert Jordan
Born in 1948, in Charleston, South Carolina, Robert Jordan was the pen name or pseudonymn of James Oliver Rigney, Jr. He lived in a house built in 1797, with his wife Harriet McDougal, a book editor with Tor Books, who was also Jordan’s editor. He was a history buff and described himself as a “High Church” Episcopalian and also admitted that he was a Freemason. He wrote books in other genres under the names Reagan O’Neal and Jackson O’Reilly.
In 2006, Jordan disclosed he had been diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis and he died in 2007 unable to complete his bestselling The Wheel of Time epic fantasy series. His life will be the subject of the feature length documentary The Wit of the Staircase: The Life and Works of Robert Jordan.
Jordan 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 bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with “V” and bronze 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.
He began writing in 1977. As Robert Jordan, he published eleven books of a projected twelve total in the main sequence of the Wheel of Time series. Despite his health problems, he continued work on A Memory of Light (later split into three volumes beginning with The Gathering Storm), sharing all significant plot details with his family so the series could be finished.
On December 7, 2007 Tor Books announced that Brandon Sanderson had been chosen to finish the Wheel of Time series. Jordan’s widow chose him after reading his book, Mistborn: The Final Empire.
Source: Wikipedia contributors, ‘Robert Jordan‘, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 May 2010, 17:11 UTC, [accessed 31 May 2010]