Robert Jordan is the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr.
(born October 17, 1948), under which he is best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel Of Time fantasy series. Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina and holds an undergraduate degree in physics from The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. He is a history buff and served two tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Army.
It has been speculated that the pen name is from the main character of Ernest Hemingway's novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, but Robert Jordan has since clarified on his blog that his pen names have all been chosen from three lists of names using his real initials, and that one of his pen names managed to contain all three of his initials in both the first name and the surname.