|Though born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, Jack Higgins grew up in Belfast amid chaotic political unrest made even more significant by his family's political involvements. He later moved to Leeds, where he earned a teacher's certificate in 1958. This allowed him to acquire a variety of teaching positions that took him through Yorkshire and eventually to London, where he received a B.S. in sociology at the University of London in 1962. Before becoming an internationally best-selling author, Higgins held such jobs as circus tent-hand and tram conductor. But when his novel "The Eagle Has Landed" hit the bookstores in 1975, Higgins embarked upon a successful career writing thrillers varying in themes from organized crime to political and military conspiracies.