John Griffith "Jack" London (born John Griffith Chaney, January 12, 1876) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. One of his best known stories is one called "To Build a Fire." It's about a man traveling alone in Alaska who falls through the ice and must depend on his untested survival skills to build a fire to warm himself. Originally the story had a happy ending, but a few years later he wrote another version that didn't end so well for the hero.