Did you know that author Jack London once lived as a hobo in City Hall Park?
Born John Griffith Chaney in 1876, Jack London remains one of America's most renowned writers. The author of Call of the Wild and White Fang received little formal education while growing up in Oakland, Calif., but began his literary career while still a teenager, submitting poems and short stories to magazines. He eventually published his first novel, Son of the Wolf, in 1900.
Apart from writing, London held a variety of occupations throughout his life, working intermittently as an oyster pirate, gold prospector, war correspondent, and political candidate. One early stint of vagrancy brought him to Lower Manhattan, where he spent his days reading books purchased from local peddlers and his nights writing and performing in City Hall Park.
As with many of his other adventures, London incorporated his experience as a hobo into his literary work -- specifically his 1903 novel, The People of the Abyss, and "Some Adventures with the Police," a short story published in 1908. Ironically, in the years preceding his suicide at age 40, Jack London was one of the best-paid and most publicized writers of his time.
Located between Broadway and Park Row, City Hall Park is a great place to relax -- and perhaps read one of London's classic American novels.
Photograph courtesy of the Jack London Foundation