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Legendary thriller writer Wilbur Smith dies at home in Cape Town aged 88

Legendary thriller writer Wilbur Smith dies at home in Cape Town aged 88


Legendary thriller writer Wilbur Smith died this afternoon at his home in Cape Town after spending the morning reading and writing with his wife Niso. 

The 88-year-old author sold more than 140 million books in 30 languages. 

Many of his 49 novels featured the Courtney family, following their exploits across the globe over three centuries. 

His first novel, When the Lion Feeds, published in 1964 was an instant best seller, and his personal life was as adventurous as his fictional characters. 

Legendary thriller writer Wilbur Smith died this afternoon at his home in Cape Town after spending the morning reading and writing with his wife Niso

Smith, pictured with his wife Niso, right, has sold more than 140 million books since 1964

Smith, pictured with his wife Niso, right, has sold more than 140 million books since 1964

The author has been published in more than 30 languages

The author has been published in more than 30 languages 

Smith was a noted bushman and survivalist. He was also a big game hunter, a pilot and an expert scuba diver.  

Kevin Conroy Scott, literary agent for Wilbur Smith for the past 11 years, said:

‘Wilbur Smith was an icon, larger than life, beloved by his fans who collected his books in hardbacks and passed his work down through generations, fathers to sons and mothers to daughters.

‘His knowledge of Africa, and his imagination knew no limitations. His work ethic and his powerful, elegant writing style made him known to millions. 

‘I cherish the role of working side by side with his wife Niso and the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation to keep the flame of his fictional universe alive for many years to come.’

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