Former Stamfordian Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse books, dies

Colin Dexter (right) receiving Honorary Life Membership of the Old Stamfordian Club from club chairman Ian Plant.
Colin Dexter (right) receiving Honorary Life Membership of the Old Stamfordian Club from club chairman Ian Plant.
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Former Stamfordian and author of the Inspector Morse series Colin Dexter has died today (Tuesday, March 21) aged 86.

His publisher said in a statement: “With immense sadness, MacMillan announces the death of Colin Dexter who died peacefully at his home in Oxford this morning.”

His series of Morse novels, written between 1975 and 1999, were adapted for the long-running ITV series, starring John Thaw.

His characters also featured in spin-off shows Lewis and Endeavour.

Colin was born in Stamford in 1936, the son of taxi driver, garage owner and store owner, Alf Dexter, in Scotgate, Stamford.

It was in 1941 that the young Colin won a scholarship to Stamford. In 1949 he left to read classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge.

He went on to have an academic career in Oxford, where he made his home. He had lived there since 1966.

The author’s connections with Stamford have appeared throughout the Morse series.

There are references to Morse’s Stamford connection in two novels, The Riddle of the Third Mile and The Service of all the Dead. There are also references to his family background, and on one occasion Morse made a special journey to Stamford to see his old headmaster.

Colin’s success led to him being awarded an OBE and in 2012 he was made an Honorary Life Membership of the Old Stamfordian Club. At one time, he was also a patron of Campaign for Stamford, the Stamford Endowed Schools’ fundraising campaign which raises money to fund new performing arts facilities, as well as additional means-tested bursaries.