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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 09:49 GMT 10:49 UK
Prolific York author dies aged 80
Charles Whiting
York author Charles Whiting produced more than 350 books
One of the country's most successful authors who wrote more than 350 books under a variety of pen names has died aged 80 in his native city of York.

Charles Whiting, who also wrote under the pseudonyms Leo Kessler, Duncan Harding and John Kerrigan, sold millions of copies of war thrillers.

Along with the fictional works he was also a keen historian and the author of many factual works.

He leaves a widow Gill, a son and grandchildren.

He's one of a band of forgotten authors
Publisher Rupert Smith

After serving in WWII as a teenager in 1943, he returned to Yorkshire to study at the University of Leeds, then went on to London, Kiel and Cologne Universities - after which he turned to teaching, working in America, Germany and Bradford.

He became a journalist with The Times then Playboy magazine before finally turning to full time writing in 1973.

Last December a surprise birthday party was organised for him at the Yorkshire Air Museum.

Mr Whiting volunteered for service in WWII, aged 16, and fought with the 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment in Belgium, Holland and Germany.

He had a keen interest in Yorkshire Regiments that led to the publication of his book Fighting Tykes - The History of the Yorkshire Regiments in WWII, published in 1993.

Time magazine

Having survived the war he returned to his home county and took up studies at the University of Leeds and then continued his education at London, Kiel, Cologne and Saarbrüchen.

He became a university lecturer in 1958, teaching firstly in the US and then in England and Germany. Whilst in Germany his writing talent again came to the fore as he was the German correspondent for Time magazine.

After 15 years in this career, Charles Whiting decided to give up full time teaching and devote himself to writing and soon following his earlier successes.

One of his publishers, Easingwold-based Rupert Smith of GH Smith & Son said he was a quiet man and prolific writer.

"He's one of a band of forgotten authors because he sold millions of copies and still, up to his death was doing publishing deals.

"He was the kind of man who was very self-effacing, one of Britain's forgotten authors, still working at 80 years of age, with his nose down and kicking out books."

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