Robert Jordan was the pen name under which James Oliver Rigney, Jr., wrote his landmark series The Wheel of Time. Jordan turned to writing after serving two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter gunner and working for a time as a nuclear engineer; in the early 1980’s, he worked on Conan the Destroyer for Tor Books, and in 1984, he pitched Tom Doherty his idea for an original fantasy series. Beginning with 1990’s The Eye of the World, the series grew immensely popular and influential and is often held up next to the Lord of the Rings as the quintessential epic fantasy.
Jordan would write eleven of a planned twelve volumes before his untimely death in 2007. His wife and editor, Harriet MacDougal, selected Mistborn author Brandon Sanderson to finish the series, using both finished prose and extensive notes left by Jordan.