John le Carré, best-selling spy novelist, dies at 89

Le Carré’s family said in a statement that he died of pneumonia. He is survived by his wife Jane and four sons.

“I’ve represented David for almost 15 years. I’ve lost a mentor, an inspiration, and most importantly, a friend,” said Jonny Geller, CEO of the Curtis Brown Group literary agency. “We won’t see him again.”

Described by Geller as “the undisputed giant of English literature”, Le Carré wrote 26 books, according to his official website, which have been published in over 50 countries and 40 languages.

Le Carré was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. During the Cold War he also served briefly in British intelligence.

His most famous works included roughly six decades, including “The Spy Who Came in the Cold,” published in 1963 that made Le Carré “the world’s most famous spy writer,” Geller said.

Le Carré also wrote “Tinker Tailor Solider Spy” and “A Mo.st Wanted Man”, which were turned into blockbuster films.

The authors used social media to mourn Le Carré.

“This terrible year has demanded a literary giant and a humanitarian spirit,” tweeted Stephen King. British historian and author Simon Sebag Montefiore tweeted that he was “broken” because of Le Carré’s death and called him a “titan of English literature” who could keep up with the great. British actor and writer Stephen Fry tweeted that he couldn’t name a contemporary writer who gave him more “richer pleasure” than Le Carré.

“I suppose the best thing you can do to honor your great life and talent is to go back to Call For The Dead and reread all of your books,” wrote Fry. “The opposite of housework.”

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