LONDON – Henry Patterson, the best-selling author of The Eagle Has Landed, has died aged 92. The writer died at his home in Jersey surrounded by his family, his publisher HarperCollins said.
Patterson wrote 85 novels, predominantly thrillers and in the espionage genre, using the pseudonym Jack Higgins. Patterson, who began writing when he was a teacher, penned 85 novels between 1959 and 2017.
The Eagle Has Landed, about a Nazi plot to kidnap Sir Winston Churchill in World War Two and written using the pseudonym Jack Higgins, sold more than 50 million copies and became a film.
Patterson sold more than 250 million books over his career, with his other works including Comes the Dark Stranger, Hell is Too Crowded and To Catch a King.Patterson was born on 27 July 1929 in Newcastle upon Tyne to an English father and a Northern Irish mother. He was raised in Belfast until his mother remarried and he moved to Leeds. After a two-year stint of national service, he qualified as a teacher and began to write novels in his spare time. The writer received a £75 advance for his first novel, Sad Wind From the Sea, in 1959. Patterson’s final book, The Midnight Bell, was published in 2017 and was a Sunday Times bestseller.
The novelist is survived by his four children from his first marriage – Sarah, Ruth, Sean and Hannah – and by his wife, Denise.