“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, and then taught 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 a pseudonym “le Carre,” which he then kept for his entire career.
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