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Jack London with Lou Leal

Jack London, known most for writing The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and the short story, “To Build a Fire,” actually lived a life that was as interesting as his published works, which totaled  fifty books written in the last seventeen years of his life. In my presentation, I will include a brief look at his life of adventure, his struggles to become a writer, and his life beyond writing. Most importantly, I will cover the myths and controversies that surrounded Jack London during his life and after his death. I will focus  on his drinking, the Wolf House fire, and most importantly, on his death.
Lou Leal moved to Sonoma from Berkeley upon retiring from working in Special Education in the East Bay for thirty-two years. Finding Jack London State Historic Park close by, he signed up to be a docent at the park, thus connecting with a favorite author from childhood. Since then he has immersed himself in Jack London research, and his work at the park has been a big part of his life.
Lou is currently Park Historian for Jack London State Historic Park. He has been a docent at the park for over twenty years, conducting Jack London Cottage, Ranch, and Wolf House tours for visiting adults and school groups. He has worked at developing indoor and outdoor interpretive displays, including the Snark exhibit. Lou also works at docent training, docent enrichment, and serves on the Volunteer Council after having served for thirteen years on the executive board of the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association, the organization currently operating the park. He has done Jack London presentations for historical societies, clubs, assisted living facilities, the Jack London Foundation, and the Jack London Society. He has published several papers and articles about Jack London’s life. His focus has always been in developing an accurate picture of Jack London that is based on honest research.
Jack London, known most for writing The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and the short story, “To Build a Fire,” actually lived a life that was as interesting as his published works, which totaled fifty books written in the last seventeen years of his life.
Lou Leal, Park Historian for the Jack London State Historic Park takes look a London’s life of adventure, his struggles to become a writer, and his life beyond writing. Most importantly, Lou will cover the myths and controversies that surrounded Jack London during his life and after his death, with a focus on his drinking, the Wolf House fire, and most importantly, his death at only 40 years old.
Lou Leal is currently Park Historian for Jack London State Historic Park. He has been a docent at the park for over twenty years, conducting Jack London Cottage, Ranch, and Wolf House tours for visiting adults and school groups. He has worked at developing indoor and outdoor interpretive displays, including the Snark exhibit. He has published several papers and articles about Jack London’s life. His focus has always been in developing an accurate picture of Jack London that is based on honest research.

Debra Schwartz and Lou Leal 5-2-2018
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