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The French author, who was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 2008, breathed his last on December 4.

Dominique Lapierre, a French author with a love for India whose novels sold tens of millions of copies, has died, his wife announced. He died of old age.

Dominique Lapierre was born in the French town of Châtelaillon-Plage, Charente-Maritime.
Lapierre, who was born on July 30, 1931, in Chatelaillon, has sold around 50 million copies of the six books he co-wrote with American writer Larry Collins, the most renowned of which is “Is Paris Burning?”

The non-fiction book, released in 1965, detailed the events leading up to August 1944, when Nazi Germany surrendered control of the French capital, and was adapted for film by Francis Ford Coppola and Gore Vidal.

His 1985 novel “City of Joy,” depicting the trials and tribulations of a rickshaw puller in Kolkata, was likewise a huge success. It was adapted into a film starring Patrick Swayze and directed by Roland Joffe in 1992.

Lapierre contributed half of the royalties from this book to many humanitarian initiatives in Kolkata, including leper and polio children’s refuge centres, clinics, schools, rehabilitation workshops, education programmes, hygienic activities, and hospital boats. He established Action Aid for Calcutta Lepers’ Children to process and channel charitable money.

In the 2008 Republic Day honours list, Lapierre received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour.

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