Egyptian-born English author who wrote the twelve-volume Horatio Hornblower series, as well as the 1935 novel The African Queen. Two of his other novels -- Flying Colours and A Ship of the Line -- received the prestigious James Tate Black Memorial Prize.
After dropping out of his London secondary school, he traveled to the United States, where he spread British World War II-era propaganda to American citizens to encourage Americans to join the war effort.
Before divorcing in 1945, he and his wife Kathleen became parents to two sons.
He met future children's author Roald Dahl while both men were involved in British war-time military and intelligence efforts.