John le Carré, the British spy novelist regarded as the ‘Titan of English literature’ passed away in England after a brief illness.
He worked as a British intelligence officer himself before penning the espionage novels that dominated international bestseller lists for decades and were also adapted into multiple films and TV series.
His global famous novels include The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and many others.
He wrote his first three books while being in service for Britain’s MI5 and MI6, and became a full-time author after pitching onto the global scene with the publication of his third novel, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, in 1963.
Le Carré, whose birth name was David Cornwell, died of pneumonia on the evening of Dec. 12, according to a statement from his publisher.
“John le Carré was an undisputed giant of English literature. He defined the Cold War era and fearlessly spoke truth to power in the decades that followed,” said Jonny Geller, CEO of The Curtis Brown Group and le Carré’s agent.
“I have lost a mentor, an inspiration, and most importantly, a friend. We will not see his like again.”
The literature world is mourning his death and many authors took to social media to pay tribute to John le Carré.
John le Carre has passed at the age of 89. This terrible year has claimed a literary giant and a humanitarian spirit.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 13, 2020
Very distressed to hear this. One of the great postwar British novelists, and an unforgettable, unique character. My deepest condolences to Jane and all the family. https://t.co/wCHMccVbO4— Robert Harris (@Robert___Harris) December 13, 2020
So sad to hear of the death of John Le Carré. Just the finest, wisest storyteller we had. What an extraordinary career. Thank you for a lifetime of tales. https://t.co/0uym2utu4E— Richard Osman (@richardosman) December 13, 2020
Very sorry to hear this. His Smiley novels are key to understanding the mid-20th century… https://t.co/iJzRW0MigT— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) December 13, 2020