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Federick Forsyth was born in August 1938 in Ashford, Kent, England, and was educated at Tonbridge school, and later Granada University, Spain. He started work as one of the youngest pilots in the RAF at the age of 19, serving from 1956 to 1958. For the next three and a half years he worked as a reporter for the Eastern Daily Press in Norfolk, before becoming a correspondant for Reuters in 1961, first in Paris, at the age of twenty-three, and then in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, locations which provided him with information for his first books. Returning to London in 1965, he worked as a radio and television reporter for the BBC. As assistant diplomatic correspondent, he covered the Biafran side of the Biafra-Nigeria war from July to September 1967, and this provided him with knowledge of international politics, and the world of mercenary soldiors. It was this work and related research that interested him with historical truth. In 1968 he left the BBC to return to Biafra, and he reported on the war, first as a freelance and later for the Daily Express and Time magazine.
In 1970, after nine years of an intense journalistic career, he decided to write a book using the research methods he had learnt while a reporter. This book, The Day of the Jackal, became an instant success, and spawned a career of many successful books.
Frederick Forsyth speaks fluent French, German and Spanish, and has travelled widely in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and these experiencies can be seen in the authenticity of his books.
- Day of the Jackal, the (1971)
- Odessa File, the (1972)
- Dogs of War, the (1974)
- Devil's Alternative, the (1979)
- Fourth Protocol, the (1984)
- Negotiator, the (1989)
- Deceiver, the (1991)
- Fist of God, the (1994)
- Icon (1996)
- Phantom of Manhattan, the (1999)
- Avenger (2003)
- Afghan, the (2006)