He is the creator of Middle-earth, the wonderful world of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien, author and English professor, was born January 3, 1892. The first three years of his life were spent in South Africa where his father was a bank manager. He had one brother, Hilary, who was two years younger than Ronald was. In 1895, he and his brother traveled to England with his mother, Mabel, to visit family. While there, the family received the news that his father had suddenly died. The trip proved to be a permanent move.
Mabel Tolkien took her two sons to Birmingham, England, where they resided with her parents for a time. Later, they moved to a village named Sarehole. As a young boy, Tolkien explored the countryside around his new home. He discovered areas such as Sarehole Mill, Moseley Bog, and Clent Hills. They would eventually become the inspiration for many scenes in his stories.
During his younger years, Tolkien's mother schooled him at home. She enjoyed teaching him botany, language, and Latin. Eventually, he attended King Edward's School and St. Phillip's School. Later, he was a student at Exeter College at Oxford. Tolkien's mother emphasized the value of a good education to her young son. He followed through and made the most of his educational opportunities.