Ken Follett

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Ken Follett (born 5 June 1949) is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels. He has sold more than 100 million copies of his works. Four of his books have reached the number 1 ranking on the New York Times best-seller list: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, Triple and World Without End.[1]



Early life

Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales. He was the first child of Martin Follett, a tax inspector, and Lavinia (Veenie) Follett, who went on to have three further children.[2][3] Barred from watching movies and television by his devout born-again Christian parents, he developed an early interest in reading but remained an indifferent student until he entered his teens.[2][3] His family moved to London when he was ten years old and he began applying himself to his studies at Harrow Weald Grammar School and Poole Technical College, and won admission in 1967 to University College London, where he studied philosophy and became involved in centre-left politics.

Marriage and early success

He married his first wife, Mary, in 1968, and their son Emanuele was born in the same year.[2] After graduation in the autumn of 1970 Follett took a three-month post-graduate course in journalism and went to work as a trainee reporter in Cardiff on the South Wales Echo.[2] After three years in Cardiff he returned to London as a general-assignment reporter for the Evening News.[2] Finding the work unchallenging he eventually left journalism for publishing and became, by the late 1970s, deputy managing director of the small London publisher Everest Books.[2] He also began writing fiction during evenings and weekends as a hobby. Later he said he began writing books when he needed extra money to fix his car, and the publisher's advance a fellow journalist had been paid for a thriller was the sum required for the repairs.[4] Success came gradually at first but the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978 made him both wealthy and internationally famous. Each of Follett's subsequent novels has also become a best-seller, ranking high on the New York Times Best Seller list; a number have been adapted for the screen.

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