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Chris Claremont began his career in comics in 1969 when he worked as a gofer and editorial assistant at Marvel Comics. His time there resulted in his first official comics credit, a plot assist for X-Men #59. This was followed in 1973 by minor scripting work for Daredevil #102. He was given his first major assignment in 1974, when he and John Byrne worked together to produce the new Iron Fist title. In 1975 he was assigned to work on the failing X-Men title. His work on this title quickly turned the sales around, and has been widely praised. He spent seventeen years writing the Uncanny X-Men, during which time he introduced dozens of characters and concepts that have come to be central to the Marvel universe, as well as being responsible for some of the best known story lines in X-Men history, including the Days of Future Past and Dark Phoenix Saga. In the early to mid-1980s he was responsible for working on the intercompany crossover The Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans, as well as spin-offs like Excalibur, New Mutants, and Wolverine.
In 1991 he ceased working on The Uncanny X-Men, and began to do work for other companies, producing work for Dark Horse, DC, and Image through the 1990s. He also wrote several prose novels, published between the late 1980s and late 1990s. In the late 1990s he returned to working for Marvel, taking up a position as editorial director, and producing issues for the Fantastic Four among other works. During the Revolution event he briefly returned to writing Uncanny X-Men, before leaving that title for X-Treme X-Men. Through the 2000s he did work on various Marvel titles, including GeNEXT, New Excalibur, and X-Men Forever. In 2006 he made a cameo appearance in X-Men: The Last Stand as Lawnmower Man.
Born in London, England, Claremont emigrated with his family to the United States when he was three years old. He attended Bard College, graduating in 1972 having studied political theory and acting. In the 1970s he married Bonnie Wilford, from whom he later separated. He later married Beth Fleisher, with whom he has twin sons.