Henry Patterson, author of The Eagle Has Landed, dies aged 92 | UK News
Henry Patterson, the best-selling novelist who wrote 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, mostly thrillers and in the spy genre, under the pen name Jack Higgins.
He is most synonymous with the writing of The Eagle Has Landed, set during World War II, which was published in 1975.
It sold over 50 million copies and was adapted into a British film of the same name starring Sir Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Jenny Agutter and Robert Duvall.
Patterson has sold over 250 million copies worldwide and his books have been translated into 60 languages.
HarperCollins Managing Director Charlie Redmayne said: “I’ve been a fan of Jack Higgins for longer than I can remember.
“He was a classic thriller writer: instinctive, tough, relentless.
“The Eagle Has Landed and his other books by Liam Devlin, his later series by Sean Dillion and so many others were and remain absolutely unassailable.
“Being part of his publishing for part of his career has been a privilege – his passing marks the end of an era.”
Patterson was born on July 27, 1929 in Newcastle upon Tyne to an English father and a Northern Irish mother. He grew up in Belfast until his mother remarried and he moved to Leeds.
After two years of military service, he graduated as a teacher and began writing novels in his spare time. The writer received a £75 advance for his first novel, Sad Wind From The Sea, in 1959.
Jonathan Lloyd, Patterson’s literary agent and president of Curtis Brown, said he was at Collins Publishers when he received the manuscript for The Eagle Has Landed, and everyone knew it would become a classic.
He said: “40 years later, Curtis Brown became his agent…and it was exciting to work with Harry again, and I now look forward to working with his wife, Denise, and daughter, Hannah, and the family to preserve and promote his extraordinary legacy.”
Patterson’s latest 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 his wife, Denise.