Howard Marks dies aged 70

11 April 2016

By Pan Macmillan

Howard Marks, former drug smuggler and bestselling author, dies at 70.


'Howard was a true original in every sense of the word. Picking up the phone and hearing that famous voice has been one of the real pleasures of working in publishing. He worked extremely hard to make sure that his illness didn’t get in the way of him telling his last story and as anyone who ever met him knows, there was no one quite like Howard for spinning a yarn. We’re all very proud here to have been his publisher and feel, like many others I’m sure, that the world is now a more boring, straighter place, for him not being here. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.'

Robin Harvie, Publisher non-fiction

Howard Marks was Britain's most famous drug smuggler and a bestselling author. He served seven years in an US penitentiary before going on to become the bestselling author of Mr Nice. A former Oxford physics graduate, he was released from prison in 1995. He had previously been connected with groups as diverse as the CIA, IRA, M16 and the Mafia. On release from prison he moved to Ibiza at the height of the clubbing scene. In 2014 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died 21 years to the day of his release from prison on 10th April 2016. One of his last acts was to set up the Mr Nice Foundation, to ensure the causes dear to him continue to receive his support.
Mr Smiley: My Last Pill and Testament by Howard Marks is published by Pan in paperback on 21st April 2016.

Photo credit: James Cummings