Robert Jordan Dead At the Age of 58

Posted on September 19, 2007

Photo of Robert JordanBestselling fantasy author James Oliver "Jim" Rigney Jr., who wrote under the pseudonym Robert Jordan, has died at the age of 58. He suffered from amyloidosis, a blood disorder. He was best known worldwide for his incredibly popular "Wheel of Time" epic fantasy series. In March of 2006, Jim wrote a letter to Locus magazine, explaining his illness and how he planned on fighting it.

The New York Times has the the obituary

Known for its epic sweep, intricate plotting and large cast of complex characters, the [Wheel of Time] series centers on Rand al'Thor, a humble messianic figure who must stave off the forces of evil that threaten to overtake the faraway land in which he lives. Along the way, there are perils and portents, fair maidens, fantastical deeds and the like.

In an essay in The New York Times Book Review in 1996, Edward Rothstein wrote, "Even a reader with literary pretensions can be swept up in Mr. Jordan's narrative of magic, prophecy and battle." The "Wheel of Time" books have often been compared to the work of J. R. R. Tolkien in terms of their ability to exert a magnetic hold on readers. Translated into more than 20 languages, the books have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, according to Mr. Rigney's publisher.


James Oliver Rigney Jr. was born in Charleston on Oct. 17, 1948. He served as an Army helicopter gunner in Vietnam, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star, among other honors. He received a bachelor's degree in physics from the Citadel in 1974, and afterward worked as a nuclear engineer in Charleston before beginning a full-time writing career in the late 1970s. Mr. Rigney is survived by his wife, the former Harriet Popham McDougal; a son, William Popham McDougal of Housatonic, Mass.; and a brother, Reynolds W. Rigney of New Orleans.

Our condolences to his friends and family. He will be greatly missed.

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