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John le Carre, who probed murky world of spies, dies at 89

Britain-Obit-Le Carre
Posted at 8:03 AM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 11:30:56-05

LONDON (AP) — John le Carre, a spy turned novelist who became the preeminent writer of espionage fiction in English, has died at the age of 89.

Le Carre’s literary agency, Curtis Brown, said Sunday that he died in Cornwall, southwest England on Saturday after a short illness.

His family said he died of pneumonia and the death was not related to COVID-19.

Born David Cornwell, le Carre worked for Britain’s intelligence service before turning his experience into fiction in works, including “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.”

In the quiet, watchful spymaster George Smiley, he created one of 20th-century fiction’s iconic characters — a decent man at the heart of a web of deceit.