Press statement regarding death of Dick Francis

Dick Francis

31 October 1920 – 14 February 2010

It is with great sadness that the family of Dick Francis announced today that the bestselling writer has died at the age of 89.

Felix Francis says:  “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 honour for me to be able to continue his remarkable legacy through the new novels.”


Dick Francis was the author of forty-two novels, a volume of short stories, an autobiography (The Sport of Queens) and the biography of Lester Piggott. He was rightly acclaimed as one of the greatest thriller writers in the world. Even Money, written with his younger son, Felix, was published in September 2009 and Crossfire, the new Dick and Felix Francis novel, will be published in autumn 2010.


Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys.  The winner of over 350 races, he was Champion Jockey in 1953/54 and rode for the HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.


He rode in the Grand National a total of eight times and in 1956 was just a few strides from victory, well clear of the field, when his horse, Devon Loch, suddenly collapsed beneath him.   He retired from racing in 1957 and took up writing, first for the Sunday Express and then, in 1962, with the novels.


Dick also had a distinguished military career.  He joined the RAF in 1940 and was initially stationed in the Egyptian desert before he was commissioned as a pilot in 1943, flying Spitfires, Wellingtons and then Lancasters.


Dick’s beloved wife, Mary, to whom he was married for 53 years, died in 2000.  His two sons, Merrick and Felix (with whom Dick wrote his last four novels), survive him, as do 5 grandchildren and 1 great grandson. There will be a small funeral at Dick’s home in Grand Cayman, followed by a memorial service in London in due course.

For any enquiries please contact Colman Getty on 020 7631 2666