Dick Francis, born October 31, 1920, passed away February 14, 2010 apparently due to natural causes in his Caribbean home, his publicist reported, although he suffered from prostate cancer for many years. He was a prolific author of suspenseful horse racing novels, the latest three of which his son Felix Francis has co-authored (Dead Heat, Silks, Even Money).
Dick Francis himself was also a champion jockey, winning over 350 races as well as being the Queen Mother's jockey, but is well known as being one of greatest thriller writers for the past few decades.
Losing his wife Mary in 2000, Dick Francis is survived by his two sons, Felix and Merrick, who state that although being devastated by the loss of their father, they rejoice in the fact of being sons of such an extraordinary person.
According to an interview in 2006, Dick has left a legacy in his will to further the research towards a cure for cancer, stating "I'd like my legacy to go into research to prevent it, to stop it for good. It's no longer the death sentence it was, but there is still a way to go."
Felix Francis plans on continuing his father's legacy with new novels.