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John Mortimer (1) [1923–2009]

This page covers the author of The First Rumpole Omnibus.

For other authors named John Mortimer, see the disambiguation page.

John Mortimer (1) has been aliased into John Clifford Mortimer.

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Works have been aliased into John Clifford Mortimer.

Works have been aliased into John Clifford Mortimer.

"legal (123) 20th century (94) anthology (141) autobiography (140) biography (137) British (232) British fiction (90) British literature (92) British mystery (90) Christmas (53) collection (58) comedy (73) courtroom (88) crime (231) crime fiction (99) culture (65) England (197) English (122) English literature (124) fiction (2,308) Folio Society (103) Horace Rumpole (55) humor (989) John Mortimer (97) law (309) lawyers (81) legal fiction (56) literature (121) London (63) memoir (72) mystery (1,346) non-fiction (86) novel (192) paperback (53) penguin (53) read (107) Rumpole (444) short stories (453) to-read (254) unread (57)
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John Mortimer was born in London to Clifford Mortimer, a barrister, and his wife Kathleen May, née Smith. Mortimer attended the Dragon School and Harrow, originally intending to become an actor, and then a writer. His father persuaded him to follow him into a legal career. Mortimer went up to Oxford University, where he read law. During World War II, he worked for the Crown Film Unit, writing scripts for propaganda documentaries. Mortimer made his debut as an original playwright with The Dock Brief, first broadcast on BBC Radio in 1957 and later adapted for television.
Mortimer was called to the Bar at age 25 in 1948. His early career focused on wills and divorces, but he later undertook criminal cases. He's now best remembered for creating the character of Horace Rumpole, a barrister at London's Old Bailey courthouse.
He was married to Penelope Fletcher, who wrote as Penelope Mortimer. The couple divorced in 1971, and he married Penelope Gollop, with whom he had two daughters, Emily Mortimer and Rosie Mortimer. He was awarded the CBE in 1986, and knighted in 1998.

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