Christopher Tolkien, son of 'Lord of the Rings' creator, dies at 95

Christopher Tolkien, a son of famed author J.R.R Tolkien and preserver of his father's legacy, has died at 95, according to the Tolkien Society.

The organization, devoted to promoting the life and works of the acclaimed author, released a statement following the son's passing.

"All of us in the Tolkien Society will share in the sadness at the news of Christopher Tolkien’s death, and we send our condolences to Baillie, Simon, Adam, Rachel and the whole Tolkien family at this difficult time," society chair Shaun Gunner announced.

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Tolkien was known for being the literary executor of the Tolkien Estate following his father's death in 1973, according to the Tolkien Society.

He went on to publish J.R.R.'s unpublished material such as "The Silmarillion" in 1977 and "The History of Middle-earth," a 12-volume series of material related to the fiction writing of his father. They were published between 1983 to 1996.

He grew up listening to his father's stories on Bilbo Baggins -- the eventual lead character for "The Hobbit," (1937). He even drew some of the original maps for his dad's most famous work, "The Lord of the Rings," first published between 1954 and 1955, according to the Guardian.

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His lifelong interest in the material kept his father's legacy alive for nearly 50 years after his passing, with Tolkien scholar Dr. Dimitra Fimi saying that interest in his dad's work "would never be what it is today without Christopher Tolkien’s contribution."

"From editing 'The Silmarillion' to the mammoth task of giving us the 'History of Middle-earth' series, he revealed his father’s grand vision of a rich and complex mythology," Fimi said, according to the society.

"He gave us a window into Tolkien’s creative process, and he provided scholarly commentary that enriched our understanding of Middle-earth. He was Middle-earth’s cartographer and first scholar."

Christopher was born in Leeds, United Kingdom on Nov. 21, 1924. He joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War and was stationed in Africa, the society said.

Before he became the literary executor of the Tolkien Estate, he was a lecturer in Old and Middle English as well as Old Icelandic at the University of Oxford.

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Since 1975, he lived in France with his wife, Baillie.

He is predeceased by two brothers, John Francis Tolkien, who died in 2003, and Michael Hilary Tolkien, who died in 1984. The family's youngest member is Priscilla Anne Tolkien, now 90 years old. Their mother, Edith Bratt, died in 1971.