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He was born in Calcutta and spent his early years in Darjeeling, before attending boarding school in the UK. Skipping university, he studied Russian at the Joint Services School for Linguists in London, and then worked in Berlin for British intelligence.
Moving on to publishing, he worked at Chapman & Hall for a number of years and then ran the publishing house of Hamish Hamilton. In the mid-1970s, he embarked on a new career as a literary agent. Among his many famous clients were the Nobel Prize winner VS Naipaul and the Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie.
He died in October 2016.
- "Gillon Aitken obituary | Books | The Guardian". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2016-11-18.