John Pearson

John George Pearson (born 5 October 1930, Epsom, Surrey) is an English novelist and an author of biographies, notably of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, and of the Kray twins.

Pearson was born in Epsom, Surrey. He was educated at King’s College School, Wimbledon, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he gained a double first in history.[1] He then worked for The Economist, BBC Television and The Sunday Times. He was Ian Fleming’s assistant at the Sunday Times and went on to write the first biography of Fleming, The Life of Ian Fleming, published in 1966.

Books in order of publication:




  • Bluebird and the Dead Lake (1965) (published in the U.S. as The Last Hero: The Gallant Story of Donald Campbell and the Land Speed Record in 1966)
  • The Life of Ian Fleming (1966)
  • The Kray Twins series:
    1. The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins (1972) – nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award
    2. The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays (2001)
    3. Notorious: The Immortal Legend of the Kray Twins (2010)
  • Facades: Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell (1978) (published in the U.S. as The Sitwells in 1979)
  • Barbara Cartland: Crusader in Pink (1979), first published as by “Henry Cloud” but subsequently republished under his own name
  • Stags and Serpents: The Story of the House of Cavendish and the Dukes of Devonshire (1983) (published in the U.S. as The Serpent and the Stag in 1984)
  • The Ultimate Family: The Making of the Royal House of Windsor (1986) (published in the U.S. as The Selling of the Royal Family: The Mystique of the British Monarchy)
  • Citadel of the Heart: Winston and the Churchill Dynasty (1991) (published in the U.S. as The Private Lives of Winston Churchill)
  • Painfully Rich: the Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty (1995)
  • Blood Royal: The Story of the Spencers and the Royals (1999)
  • One of the Family: The Englishman and the Mafia (2003)
  • The Gamblers: John Aspinall, James Goldsmith and the Murder of Lord Lucan (2005)


  • Airline Detective: The Fight Against International Air Crime (1962) co-written with BOAC Security expert Donald E. W. Fish although Pearson is uncredited [8]
  • Arena: The Story of the Colosseum (1973)
  • Edward the Rake (1975) (published in the U.S. as Edward the Rake: An Unwholesome Biography of Edward VII)


  • The Persuasion Industry (1965), with Graham Turner


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