John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973, was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

After Tolkien’s death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Area and Middle earth within it.