Cold War detective novelist John Lee Kerry dies at 89

John Lee Kerry, the spy who became the author whose novels defined the Cold War era, has died, his publisher said in a statement Sunday. He was 89 years old.

The cause of death was pneumonia, said Johnny Galler, CEO of publisher Curtis Brown, in a statement. Le Carey, whose real name was David Cornwell, is survived by his wife of about 50 years and his four sons.

“It will never look like this again, and its loss will be felt by every book lover, everyone interested in the human condition,” Galer said in a statement. “We have lost a great man of English literature, a man of great understanding, kindness, wit and wit. I have lost a friend, mentor and inspiration.”

Le Jose Carey told Mark Phillips of CBS News in 1996, “Joseph Conrad wrote about the sea because he was born in the ocean. My secret world had a very beginning. I will imitate Conrad in that request; the secret world was my natural element, I Was in it and he understands the ocean so I can understand his operations. “

Le Carre’s first novel, “For the Dead”, introduced the world to George Smiley, a kind of adversary of James Bond, a miserable, unhappy, but ruthless civil servant. Smiley was published in nine of Le Carey’s nine books, including his third book and first best-seller, “The Spy Who Came in the Cold,” and his latest book, “A Legacy Sp f Spies” as a side character.

Le Carry


Le Carey called Steve Crusaft “60 minutes.” In 2018 that “These characters never left me.”

“In some weird ways, especially smiling, they became – even if I don’t write about them – they became quite conscious companions at the time of my imagination,” Le Carey said. “And what I had to do at this point, to close the whole smiley saga of 500 years now, was that we inquired in the past about what we did after the Cold War in the name of freedom. It’s very valuable. And this very mood. Together I concluded this book and George Smiley, which was a kind of truth-seeking for me. “

Le Carey refused to put his name on any literary awards and refused to accept knighthood. He told Croft that he was “skeptical of the literary world that I don’t want to appreciate.” And he said being the commander of the British Empire is what he wants “at least”.

“I don’t want to come into a posture like someone who is respected by the state and therefore should be somehow compatible with the state,” Le Carey said. “And I don’t want to wear armor.”

Le Carrey was 5 years old when her mother Olive left the family. He and his brother were left in the care of their father, Ronnie, a con man. Le Carey said his father had a “wonderful brain,” but “took it if he had the guts to do something.”

Le Carey was an excellent student, and he received a degree in modern languages ​​from Oxford. A career as a spy seemed like a natural fit for him.

“When it comes to recruiting people for the secret world, I had a lot of what recruiters were looking for,” Le Carey said. “I was redundant, looking for an organization to take care of me. I had a little big Larseni. I understood Lars. I understood natural guilt in people – because he was around me. And I have no doubt he was there. There’s a part of me inside, too. Once I got that identity, it got rooted in me. That’s right – he was jailed with the known world in the past. “

As a young diplomat in Germany, he saw MI6, a well-known British intelligence agency, moving to Berlin and the Wall.

Eventually he began writing novels on his travels and afternoons.

“My memory is that I wrote it very quickly, the story,” Le Carey said. “But I don’t know where I was going before. And it flows. And I think you’ll get such a break once in your writing life. I really believe – nothing else I had was so natural, fast. “

His third book, “The Spy Who Came in the Cold,” would be his breakout novel and was a 1963 literary event. Since he wrote under a pseudonym, only those who knew who the author was were British spies, and they did not want to blow up his cover in Germany. When he was finally fired as a writer, MI6 allowed him to leave, allowing him to focus on writing full time.

John Le Carrey
English writer and detective novelist John Le Carey appeared in March 1965.

Terry Fincher / Express by Getty Images

Le Kerry’s novels focused on what he called the “Secret Intelligence Service” or “Circus” and was a complete window into the secret life of espionage during the height of the Cold War. In 1974, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” was based on the discovery of real-life spy Kim Philby, who handed over hundreds of secret documents to the Soviet Union.

But even in the aftermath of the Cold War in the 1980s, Le Kerry’s writing was not listed. Philip Roth described his 1986 novel “A Perfect Spy” as “the best post-war English novel.”

Success in his partnership as a novelist translated into film and TV adaptations, with “The Night Manager” and turned into a BBC series and “The Spy Who Comes From The Cold” became a film in 1965. Rupert is one of the actors who played the role of George Smile. Davis, Alec Guinness and Gary Oldman.

After the end of the Cold War, Le Carre turned his attention to the pharmaceutical industry, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and finally Brexit. He told Mark Phillips of CBS Sunday Morning“In 2019, although the Cold War ended, it is the same game but played for different purposes and by different rules. ”

“Well, all I can say is that, always in my books, I’ve tried to live the passion of my time,” Le Carey said. “And in this case, I felt very deeply – I feel very deeply – that the British public is being bullied by people with private interests. So, to get this realization, invest the argument in the characters instead of just standing on interference. Box x, that was my job. “