Legendary thriller writer John Le Carre dies

The world's legendary spy author John Le Carre, famous for his books including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, has died at age 89.

Le Carre's family confirmed he died of pneumonia at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on Saturday night. "We all deeply grieve his passing," they wrote in a statement.

"It is with great sadness that we must confirm that David Cornwell - John le Carré - passed away from pneumonia on Saturday night after a short battle with the illness.

"David is survived by his beloved wife of almost fifty years, Jane, and his sons Nicholas, Timothy, Stephen and Simon.

"We all grieve deeply his passing.

"Our thanks go to the wonderful NHS team at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro for the care and compassion that he was shown throughout his stay. We know they share our sadness."'

His agent Jonny Geller described him as "an undisputed giant of English literature".

"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. His work was read and loved all over the world for six decades. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold in 1963 made him the most famous spy writer in the world. His greatest character - George Smiley - appeared in several novels including the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy & Smileys People. I represented David for almost 15 years. I have lost a mentor, an inspiration and most importantly, a friend. We will not see his like again."

Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK, said: "It has been a great honour for all of us at Penguin Random House to be John le Carré's publishers. His contribution to this country cannot be overstated and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. His work will be read and loved for many generations to come."

Authors sent their tributes to him on social media. Stephen King tweeted: "This terrible year has claimed a literary giant and a humanitarian spirit."



More to come.

Originally published as Legendary thriller writer John Le Carre dies