John Le Carré, the author of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, died at the age of 89. The Englishman passed away because of pneumonia on Dec. 12th in Cornwall, England.

John Le Carré died in England after a long time fighting against cancer turmoil. The writer was described as the giant of English literature and a brave soul who dared write about the truth of Cold War and release fact about that dark period in his writing.

His death was confirmed by the publisher that he had been working with. The publisher announced his death on their social media site.

Jonny Geller, CEO of The Curtis Brown Group and le Carré’s agent, admitted that he was regretful about the death of Le Carré and said that he “lost a mentor.

“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,” Geller said. “We will not see his like again.”

Before becoming a novelist, the writer was the intelligence officer. Most of his books have become the bestsellers around the world and turned into movie and TV adaptions.

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

His writing career officially started when Le Carré worked for Britain’s MI5 and MI6. He was not reputable and recognizable until the year of 1963 when he published the novel The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, in 1963.

“From the day my novel was published, I realised that now and for ever more I was to be branded as the spy turned writer, rather than as a writer who, like scores of his kind, had done a stint in the secret world, and written about it,” Le Carré wrote in the postscript to the 50th anniversary edition of the book.

Le Carré’s best creation, perhaps, was George Smiley. Smiley was short but flair and unlike James Bold – a sexy figure of the spy world who ended his task in classy and gentle way, Smiley accomplished his task in slow and methodical. The creation somehow reflected his experience as a spy.

 “Back then, we had a clear philosophy which we thought we were protecting, and it was a notion of the West — it was a notion of individual freedom, of inclusiveness, of tolerance,” Smiley said and compared the similarity between himself and his creation.

Le Carré when he was working for Britain’s MI5.

Throughout his career, the Englishman published a total of 25 books and one memoir. The author sold  60 million copies of his work globally, and though writing books seemingly was a boring task, Le Carré admitted that he has been living an “extraordinary life.”

“I do sometimes,” he answered. “I’m scared of being a bore about it, but it does seem to be a wonderful life in retrospect, or an extraordinarily varied one.”

His mourning will occur in the upcoming week in a much smaller size of ceremony due to the effect of global pandemic.


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