Jack London's Daughters

by Sheryl Lawton, Park Ranger

Becky and Joan LondonJoan London Miller, the first daughter of Jack London and his first wife, Bessie M. London, was born January 15, 1901.  She died January 19, 1971.  She was a socialist all her life, following in her father's footsteps.  She worked for the California Federation of Labor for 22 years as a Research Librarian and built there a Library of Labor History.  She was eulogized as a "warrior for labor with a passion for economic and social justice" by the California State Legislature in a Memoriam after her death.

Joan published various essays, poems, short stories and an early novel titled Sylvia Conventry.  Her first biography of her father, Jack London and His Times:  An Unconventional Biography, was published in 1939 and reprinted in 1968 by the University of Washington Press.  During the last few years of her life Joan wrote two other books, one about the California farm labor movement co-authored by Henry Anderson:  So Shall Ye Reap: The Story of Cesar Chavez & the California Farm Worker's Movement, published in 1971.  Joan's other book, a poignant, uncompleted memoir, Jack London and his Daughters, was published in 1990 with a forward by Joan's son, Bart Abbott.

Becky (Bess) London Fleming, the younger daughter of Jack and Bessie M. London, was born October 20, 1902, died at 90 years of age on March 26, 1992.  Becky and her husband, Percy Fleming, were business partners in a stationary shop in downtown Oakland until retiring.  Prior to that Becky had been a stenographer providing her with skills she utilized in transcribing her father's book into Braille for the Institute for the Blind.  Becky was the inveterate reader, enjoying a wide range of literature from the classics to her father's writings to science fiction.  She was also a dedicated baseball fan.  The least ten years of here life were spent, after her husband's death, in Glen Ellen recalling memories of her father for Jack London fans.

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Jack London State Historic Park - "Effective June 1, Jack London State Historic Park will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The park is scheduled to be permanently closed by July 1, 2012."

The Berkeley Digital Library  Sunsite offers photographs of Jack London and his family.

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