||J. R. R. Tolkien CBE FRSL has South African Roots|
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J.R.R.had one sibling, a younger brother,Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien.  He was home-schooled by his mother. Most interested in Language and Writing, he read at the age of 4. Before his fifth birthday, he wrote in different languages. 
Tolkien grew up in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, and went to King Edward's School in Birmingham. In 1911 he attended Exeter College, Oxford. 
His service in WWI became the inspiration for his books.
At 21, Tolkien finally married Edith Mary Bratt.Initially, his father barred him from seeing her -- due to her religion -- until he reached the said age. Tolkien complied with his father's wish, but went on to have four children with Edith. He loved his children, and their names and personalities became characters in his books.
In a 1941 letter to his son Michael, Tolkien recalled:
I had to choose between disobeying and grieving (or deceiving) a guardian who had been a father to me, more than most fathers ... and "dropping" the love-affair until I was 21. I don't regret my decision, though it was very hard on my lover. But it was not my fault. She was completely free and under no vow to me, and I should have had no just complaint (except according to the unreal romantic code) if she had got married to someone else. For very nearly three years I did not see or write to my lover. It was extremely hard, especially at first. The effects were not wholly good: I fell back into folly and slackness and misspent a good deal of my first year at college.
John and Edith had four children together: John Francis, Michael Hilary, Christopher John and Priscilla Anne. 
When Tolkien was not writing, he was a reader and professor for many different colleges. Never thinking his books would be popular, he wrote as a hobby. Then he showed a former English student, the Hobbit, who convinced Tolkien to publish. 
Obviously, Tolkien and his books became famous. But despite his renown, the most important thing in his life were his wife and kids.At one time, Tolkien was close friends with author C.S. Lewis.
Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972 
Tolkien's wife, Edith, died 29 November 1971, at 82. 
My grandmother died two years before my grandfather and he came back to live in Oxford. Merton College gave him rooms just off the High Street. I went there frequently and he'd take me to lunch in the Eastgate Hotel. Those lunches were rather wonderful for a 12-year-old boy spending time with his grandfather, but sometimes he seemed sad. There was one visit when he told me how much he missed my grandmother. It must have been very strange for him being alone after they had been married for more than 50 years. 
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