Possibly the only Tolkien scholar to hail from Magnolia, Arkansas, John D. Rateliff moved to Wisconsin in 1981 in order to work with the Tolkien manuscripts at Marquette University, where he received his Ph.D. with a dissertation on Lord Dunsany. He has been active in Tolkien scholarship for many years, helping to organize two major Tolkien conferences and delivering papers on Tolkien, Dunsany, Eddison, the Inklings, and other fantasy writers. While at Marquette, he assisted in the collation of their holdings with those that Christopher Tolkien was editing for volumes VI to IX of the History of Middle-earth series. In addition to writing a column on "Classics of Fantasy", he has contributed to such volumes as Tolkien's Legendarium and Blackwelder festschrift The Lord of the Rings: 1954-2004. A professional editor, he lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three cats, only one of whom is named after a Tolkien character.