Charmian Kittredge London
Charmian Kittredge was born in 1871 in California but was raised by a progressive-thinking aunt in Oklahoma. Charmian excelled in music and other arts, including photography. She attended college in the San Francisco Bay Area for two years. Charmian became a secretary and lived independently, buying her own home and enjoying an active social life. Her job at Overland Monthly, a magazine publisher, brought her into contact with Jack London. In 1905, they married and Charmian spent years traveling with Jack, typing his manuscripts, and enjoying ranch life in Glen Ellen, California. “Beauty Ranch” was perfect for Charmian, who was a superb equestrian.
Charmian published her own works about their voyages, and after Jack’s death in 1916, she wrote about him in the biography “Book of Jack London.” She worked tirelessly to promote his works and to keep the ranch going. She was active in the arts, prison reform, and animal welfare. Charmian remained at the ranch until her death in 1955 at age 84. The property is now the Jack London State Historic Park.