Authors: Jack Higgins
Jack Higgins is the pseudonym of Harry Patterson (b. 1929), the
New York Times
bestselling author of more than seventy thrillers, including
The Eagle Has Landed
The Wolf at the Door
. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Patterson grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As a child, Patterson was a voracious reader and later credited his passion for reading with fueling his creative drive to be an author. His upbringing in Belfast also exposed him to the political and religious violence that characterized the city at the time. At seven years old, Patterson was caught in gunfire while riding a tram, and later was in a Belfast movie theater when it was bombed. Though he escaped from both attacks unharmed, the turmoil in Northern Ireland would later become a significant influence in his books, many of which prominently feature the Irish Republican Army. After attending grammar school and college in Leeds, England, Patterson joined the British Army and served two years in the Household Cavalry, from 1947 to 1949, stationed along the East German border. He was considered an expert sharpshooter.
Following his military service, Patterson earned a degree in sociology from the London School of Economics, which led to teaching jobs at two English colleges. In 1959, while teaching at James Graham College, Patterson began writing novels, including some under the alias James Graham. As his popularity grew, Patterson left teaching to write full time. With the 1975 publication of the international blockbuster
The Eagle Has Landed
, which was later made into a movie of the same name starring Michael Caine, Patterson became a regular fixture on bestseller lists. His books draw heavily from history and include prominent figures--such as John Dillinger--and often center around significant events from such conflicts as World War II, the Korean War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Patterson lives in Jersey, in the Channel Islands.
Patterson as an infant with his mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. He moved to Northern Ireland with his family as a child, staying there until he was twelve years old.
Patterson with his parents. He left school at age fifteen, finding his place instead in the British military.
A candid photo of Patterson during his military years. While enlisted in the army, he was known for his higher-than-average military IQ. Many of Patterson's books would later incorporate elements of the military experience.
Patterson's first payment as an author, a check for PS67. Though he wanted to frame the check rather than cash it, he was persuaded otherwise by his wife. The bank returned the check after payment, writing that, "It will make a prettier picture, bearing the rubber stampings."
Patterson in La Capannina, his favorite restaurant in Jersey, where he often went to write. His passion for writing started at a young age, and he spent much time in libraries as a child.
Patterson visiting a rehearsal for
, a play he wrote that was performed by local actors in Jersey.
Patterson with his children.
Patterson in a graveyard in Jersey. Patterson has often looked to graveyards for inspiration and ideas for his books.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
copyright (c) 1966 by Jack Higgins
This edition published in 2010 by Open Road Integrated Media
180 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
Cover design by Liz Connor