Bestselling thriller author Henry Patterson has died at the age of 92.
Atterson, known to the public by his pseudonym Jack Higgins, published 85 books during his lifetime.
He died at home in Jersey surrounded by his family, his longtime publisher HarperCollins said in a statement.
Patterson is best known for the 1975 novel The Eagle Has Landed, about a fictional conspiracy to kidnap Winston Churchill during World War II.
The book has sold more than 50 million copies and has been adapted into a film starring Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland and Sir Michael Caine.
Patterson was born in Newcastle on July 27, 1929 to an English father and a Northern Irish mother.
It was a privilege to be part of his publishing business for even part of his career – his death marks the end of an eraHarperCollins boss Charlie Redmayne
He grew up in Belfast until his mother remarried and he moved to Leeds.
After two years of military service, he completed his teacher training course and began writing novels on the side.
In 1959 he received an advance of £75 for his first novel Sad Wind From The Sea.
His last book, The Midnight Bell, was published in 2017 and was a Sunday Times bestseller.
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HarperCollins said they referred to him simply as “The Legend” at the time his latest novel was published.
He is survived by four children from his first marriage – Sarah, Ruth, Sean and Hannah – and his wife Denise.
In a statement, HarperCollins CEO Charlie Redmayne said Patterson is a “classic thriller writer.”
“I’ve been a Jack Higgins fan for longer than I can remember. He was a classic thriller writer: instinctive, tough, relentless,” he said.
“The Eagle Has Landed and his other Liam Devlin books, his later Sean Dillon series and so many others have been, and continue to be, absolutely unbeatable.
“It was a privilege to be part of his publishing business for even part of his career – his death marks the end of an era.”
Jonathan Lloyd, his literary agent and President of Curtis Brown, said he knew The Eagle Has Landed would be an “instant classic” when it was first published.
“I was privileged to be with Collins Publishers when we received the manuscript of The Eagle Has Landed,” he said.
“We all knew with a rare certainty that we were about to release a classic.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/best-selling-thriller-writer-jack-higgins-dies-aged-92-41537759.html Bestselling thriller author Jack Higgins has died at the age of 92