Henry Patterson, the best-selling author of The Eagle has Landed, has died aged 92, his publisher has announced.
Patterson, who published under his pen name of Jack Higgins, wrote 85 novels between 1959 and 2017, selling more than 250million books over the course of his career.
This phenomenal success included the sale of 50million copies of his thriller The Eagle Has Landed, published in 1975. The story, about a Nazi plot to kidnap Winston Churchill during World War Two, became a film the following year, directed by John Sturges and starring Robert Duvall, Donald Sutherland and Michael Caine.
Patterson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and grew up in Belfast, before moving to Leeds. He worked initially as a teacher before penning novels in his spare time. His first published novel was Sad Wind from the Sea in 1959, and his final book was 2017’s The Midnight Bell. Other works included Comes the Dark Stranger, Hell is Too Crowded and To Catch a King.
His publisher announced that Patterson died at his home on the Channel Island of Jersey. He is survived by four children from his first marriage – Sarah, Ruth, Sean, and Hannah – as well as his wife, Denise.
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