Frederick Forsyth (b. 1938) is an English author of thrillers, born in Kent. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1956, becoming one of the youngest pilots to ever fly in Her Majesty's service. After two years in the RAF, he began working as a journalist. He later turned his journalism skills to writing fiction, and his first novel, The Day of the Jackal (1970), was a great success, becoming an international bestseller and winning him an Edgar Award. Forsyth contined to use real figures and criminal organizations as inspiration, writing popular books such as The Odessa File (1972), The Dogs of War (1974), and The Shepherd (1975), an illustrated novella first published in 1975. His most recent novel is The Cobra (2010).