John Pearson, Fleming biographer, dies

John Pearson (1930-2021)

John Pearson, a British journalist whose works included a biography of Ian Fleming, has died at 91. His death was announced on Pearson’s Instagram page, maintained by his granddaughter, Lydia Pearson.

Pearson worked at The Economist, BBC and The Sunday Times, according to his biography on his website. At The Sunday Times, Pearson worked with Fleming on the Atticus column, described by Ian Fleming Publications as a “pseudonymous weekly column for publishing society gossip.”

Pearson, in a message on the home page of his website, said working with Fleming “was my springboard to becoming a writer.”

What followed was a series of non-fiction works and novels. They included the biography The Life of Ian Fleming in 1966 and the fiction work, James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007 in 1973.

Pearson’s biography of the James Bond author was an early example of “Fleming scholarship.” According to his website, Pearson traveled almost 100,000 miles and interviewed 150 people for the project.

Pearson also wrote “true crime” books, including three books on the Kray twins described by Wikipedia as “the foremost perpetrators of organized crime in the East End of London from the late 1950s to 1967.”