Died when: 82 years 97 days
Star Sign: Virgo
Ralph William Burdick Izzard, OBE (27 August 1910 – 2 December 1992) was an English journalist, author, adventurer and, during World War II, a British Naval Intelligence officer. As a journalist, Izzard spent virtually his entire career with one newspaper, the Daily Mail. After rising to the position of Berlin bureau chief, he remained a star of the paper for 31 years. The stories he covered took him from Egypt to Algeria, Lebanon to Kenya, Korea and beyond. In addition to his duties with the Daily Mail, he wrote four books chronicling his experiences in India, Nepal and the Middle East. He is best known for the most famous of his exploits, when, as portrayed in his book The Innocent on Everest, he set out on his own, without a compass or map, to pursue John Hunt's 1953 Everest expedition to its base camp at 18,000 ft. During World War II, Izzard served with distinction as an officer with British Naval Intelligence and 30 Assault Unit. He received several awards and was appointed an OBE. His tour of duty took place under the command of Ian Fleming, who based elements of his first novel Casino Royale and its protagonist James Bond on Lieutenant Commander Izzard and a card game in which he found himself playing poker against covert Nazi intelligence agents at a casino in Pernambuco, Brazil.