Monday, February 15, 2010
A Hero of mine died today.
Photo of Dick and Felix Francis
From an article in the Telegraph (UK):
Dick Francis passed away at his Caribbean home in Grand Cayman, according to a short statement released through his publicist.
During the latter part of his life Francis became best known as one of the most popular British thriller writers, penning 42 novels based on the horse racing industry, as well as an autobiography, The Sport of Queens, and a biography of Lester Piggott.
But those achievements stemmed from a successful earlier career as a National Hunt jockey, winning over 350 races and being honored as Champion Jockey for the 1953/4 season.
He rode eight times in the Grand National, including for the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in 1956. On that occasion his horse, Devon Loch, collapsed beneath him as he appeared to be on course for victory.
A small funeral is planned at Francis's home in Grand Cayman, followed by a memorial service in London.
He is survived by two sons, Felix and Merrick.
Felix Francis said: "My brother, Merrick, and I are, of course devastated by the loss of our father, but we rejoice in having been the sons of such an extraordinary man. We share in the joy that he brought to so many over such a long life. It is an honor for me to be able to continue his remarkable legacy through the new novels.”
His wife Mary, to whom he was married for 53 years, died in 2000.