Cult author Howard Marks dies, aged 70

Drug smuggler and 'Mr Nice' writer passes away following cancer battle

Drug smuggler turned cult author Howard Marks has died. He was 70 years old.

Marks gained a following in 1996 when he published autobiography Mr Nice, the story of how a life smuggling drugs ended up with him being jailed for 25 years in a US prison. Marks was released in 1996 having served seven years of the sentence.

After his release he regularly spoke at student unions and festivals such as Glastonbury and also collaborated with Super Furry Animals on their album ‘Fuzzy Logic’ and on their singles ‘The Man Don’t Give a Fuck’ and ‘Ice Hockey Hair’. Mr Nice was turned into a film in 2006 with Rhs Ifans taking on the role of Marks.

Marks’ drug smuggling days began as a student at Oxford University, where he studied physics in the 1970s. He was arrested in Spain in 1988 as part of a US Drug Enforcement Agency-led operation.

In 2015 Marks was diagnosed with inoperable bowel cancer. Confirming news of his illness in January 2015, Marks was adamant that he had “no regrets” about his life.

A sequel to Mr Nice, Senor Nice, was published in 2006. Marks also published a crime novel, Sympathy for the Devil.

Marks is survived by his four children and an ex-wife, Judy. He continued his campaign to legalise cannabis while receiving treatment for cancer.