It’s January 3, which means that on this day, in 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born. Undoubtedly one of the most influential authors of modern mythic literature, Tolkien spent his childhood as an avid reader and a lover of language. As a boy, he often preferred to invent new tongues himself or with friends. His youthful fancies informed his academic career, and Tolkien eventually became a professor of English Literature. In the 1930s, he wrote an article about the criticism of Beowulf that forever changed how the literary world academically viewed the poem.