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Thriller author Dick Francis died at 89

By Miroslav Kucera     Feb 15, 2010 in Entertainment
Bestselling author and former jockey Dick Francis died at the age of 89 on Sunday. Francis rode as a jockey and after a successful career as a jockey started a second one as thriller writer. Soon he became abestselling author.
His son Felix issued statement: My brother Merrick and I are devastated by the loss of our father but we rejoice in having been the sons of such an extraordinary man.
Dick Francis was born in 1920. He served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force during the World War II. As his farther was a horse dealer, Dick Francis naturally became a professional steeplechase jockey in 1948. Six years later he was already Champion Jockey. During Grand National in 1956 his horse Devon Loch fell down 50 yards from the finish line. Several months later he decided to retire as jockey and was asked to write an autobiography.
The success of his autobiography The Sport of Queens encouraged him. His first novel Dead Cert, a thriller from racing world, was published in 1962. He wrote more than 40 novels which were translated into 23 languages. During the last years he published three novels together with his son Felix. Their last novel Crossfire is going to be released this autumn.
The Queen Mother Elizabeth was among the most known readers and received always the first edition of Francis books. Dick Francis was awarded a Commander of the British Empire for his services to literature in 2000.
A small funeral is planned at Francis´s home in Grand Cayman, the largest of the Caribbean´s Cayman Islands. A memorial service in London is expected to follow.
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