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Michael Baigent was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1948. He studied religion and psychology at the University of Canterbury, where he graduated in 1972. Before becoming an author, he was a commercial photographer. His first book, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, which was released in the United States as Holy Blood, Holy Grail, was written with Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln and was published in 1982. The book hypothesized that Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and that their descendants were protected by a secretive group called the Priory of Sion. He and co-author Richard Leigh unsuccessfully sued Random House UK for copyright infringement, over similarities between their work and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Baigent's other works included The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, The Jesus Papers, and Racing toward Armageddon. He died of a brain hemorrhage on June 17, 2013 at the age of 65. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Holy Blood, Holy Grail… (more)

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Baigent was born in March 1948 in Christchurch, New Zealand. He grew up in Motueka and Wakefield. His father left the family when he was 8 years old, and Baigent took the name of his maternal grandfather, Lewis Baigent. He attended Canterbury University, Christchurch, initially intending to study science, but then switched to studying comparative religion and philosophy, studying Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. He traveled to Australia and Southeast Asia, later returning to Auckland where he received a BA in Psychology. He later earned an MA in Mysticism and Religious Experience at the University of Kent.
A Freemason and a Grand Officer of the United Grand Lodge of England, he was editor of Freemasonry Today. He was a trustee of the Canonbury Masonic Research Centre.
Baigent died from a brain haemorrhage on June 18th 2013.  He is survived by his wife, Jane, two daughters and two step-children.
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