Robert William Service was born into a Scottish family while they were living in Preston, England. He was schooled in Scotland, attending Hillhead High School in Glasgow. He moved to Canada at the age of 21 when he gave up his job working in a Glasgow bank, and traveled to Vancouver Island, British Columbia with his Buffalo Bill outfit and dreams of becoming a cowboy.
He drifted around western North America, taking and quitting a series of jobs. Hired by the Canadian Bank of Commerce, he worked in a number of its branches before being posted to the branch in Whitehorse (not Dawson) in the Yukon Territory in 1904, six years after the Klondike Gold Rush. Inspired by the vast beauty of the Yukon wilderness, Service began writing poetry about the things he saw.
Conversations with locals led him to write about things he hadn't seen, many of which hadn't actually happened, as well. He did not set foot in Dawson City until 1908, arriving in the Klondike ten years after the Gold Rush, but his renown as a writer was already established.
For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W._Service.
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