Christopher Tolkien, son of The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien, has died at the age of 95.
News of Tolkien’s passing comes from the Tolkien Society, who took to Twitter on Thursday (January 16) to make the announcement.
“Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95. The Tolkien Society sends its deepest condolences to Baillie, Simon, Adam, Rachel, and the whole Tolkien family,” tweeted the account along with a photo of the writer.
Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95. The Tolkien Society sends its deepest condolences to Baillie, Simon, Adam, Rachel and the whole Tolkien family. pic.twitter.com/X83PTx4b7x
— Tolkien Society (@TolkienSociety) January 16, 2020
Over the course of his life, Tolkien, like his father, served as a lecturer in Old English at Oxford, going on to earn the Bodleian Libraries’s prestigious Bodley Medal for his work as a teacher, editor and scholar.
For Lord of the Rings fans, Tolkien is best known for continuing his father’s legacy by serving as his literary executor beginning in 1973.
Over the course of 47 years, he oversaw the publication of 24 editions of his father’s work, bringing fans bestselling titles such as The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, and The History of Middle-earth series.
In a statement also sent out on Thursday, HarperCollins UK wrote about the integral role the editor and author played in keeping his father’s legacy alive.
“Christopher was an editor from the age of 5, catching inconsistencies in his father’s bedtime tales, and was promised tuppence by his father for every mistake he noticed in The Hobbit. As a young man he was typing up manuscripts and drawing maps of Middle-earth and around the time he was commissioned an officer in the RAF in 1945, his father was already calling him ‘my chief critic and collaborator,” reads HarperCollins UK’s statement.
Added CEO Charlie Redmayne: “Christopher was a devoted curator of his father’s work and the timeless and ongoing popularity of the world that J.R.R. Tolkien cerated is a fitting testimony to the decades he spent bringing Middle-earth to generations of readers. The most charming of men, and a true gentleman, it was an honor and a privilege to know and worth with him and our thoughts are with his family at this time.”