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British spy-turned-novelist John le Carré, author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, dies aged 89

British spy-turned-novelist John le Carré, author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, dies aged 89
Legendary spy novelist John le Carré, the author of such classics as ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ and ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’, has passed away at the age of 89, his agent has confirmed.

“It is with great sadness that I must share the news that David Cornwell, known to the world as John le Carré, passed away after a short illness (not COVID-19 related) in Cornwall on Saturday evening, 12th December, 2020,” the author's literary agent said in a statement.

Born David John Moore Cornwell on October 19, 1931, he received a seemingly standard upper-middle class education, from private school to a degree in modern languages at Oxford University, then teaching at Eton before joining the foreign service.

However, while officially a diplomat, he in fact was an operative with the domestic intelligence service MI5, and then joined the MI6 foreign service in Germany. He wrote his first novels while still a spy, so had to publish them under the pseudonym ‘le Carré’, which he kept for his entire career.

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