British novelist and former spy John le Carre has died from pneumonia at the age of 89, his literary agent said Monday.

“It is with great sadness that I must share the news that David Cornwell, known to the world as John le Carré, passed away after a short illness (not COVID-19 related) in Cornwall on Saturday evening, 12th December, 2020,” said Jonny Geller in a statement.

“We have lost a great figure of English literature, a man of great wit, kindness, humour and intelligence. I have lost a friend, a mentor and an inspiration,” he added.

Born as David Cornwell in 1931, Le Carre worked for British intelligence services MI5 and MI6 during the 50s and 60s.

Le Carre is known for his works such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963), The Looking Glass War (1965), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974), Smiley’s People (1979), The Little Drummer Girl (1983), The Night Manager (1993), The Tailor of Panama (1996), The Constant Gardener (2001), A Most Wanted Man (2008) and Our Kind of Traitor (2010).

The current Chief of MI6, Richard Moore, also paid tribute to Le Carre on Twitter.

“Very sad to hear the news about #JohnLeCarre. A giant of literature who left his mark on #MI6 through his evocative & brilliant novels. My thoughts are with his family, friends & fans. Condolences from all at the #RiverHouse. #RIP #DavidCornwell.”

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.