Peter Hopkirk

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Peter Hopkirk (15 December 1930 – 22 August 2014) was a British journalist and author who wrote six books about the British Empire, Russia and Central Asia.[1][2]


Hopkirk was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford.

Hopkirk travelled widely over many years in the regions where his six books are set – Russia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, and eastern Turkey.

Before turning full-time author, he was an ITN reporter and newscaster for two years, the New York correspondent of Lord Beaverbrook's Daily Express, and then worked for nearly twenty years on The Times; five as its chief reporter, and latterly as a Middle East and Far East specialist. In the 1950s, he edited the West African news magazine Drum, sister paper to the South African Drum. Before entering Fleet Street, he served as a subaltern in the King's African Rifles – in the same battalion as Lance-Corporal Idi Amin, later to emerge as a Ugandan tyrant.

No stranger to misadventure, Hopkirk has twice been held in secret-police cells – in Cuba and the Middle East – and has also been hijacked by Arab terrorists. His works have been translated – officially – into fourteen languages, and unofficial versions in local languages are apt to appear in the bazaars of Central Asia. In 1999, he was awarded the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal for his writing and travels by the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.[3]

Hopkirk's wife Kathleen wrote A Traveller's Companion to Central Asia, published by John Murray in 1994 (ISBN 0-7195-5016-5).

Hopkirk died on 22 August 2014 at the age of 83.[4]


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