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Norman John Worker was born in Lewisham, London, on 8 May 1927, the son of George S. Worker and his wife Elsie, née Burton.

Aged 15, he joined the Honourable Artillery Company as a cadet, and at 17 signed up with the Royal Armoured Corps, spending two years in tanks and two years in infantry in India and the far east. After the war he ran his father's furniture factory until it closed in the 1950s, then a farm in Essex. After that he took a job as a buyer for the Ford Motor Company, and started writing in his spare time. Working for Ford all day and writing all night, he drove himself to a nervous breakdown it took him seven years to recover from.

From the early 1960s he wrote for War Picture Library, Battle Picture Library. In 1969 or 1970 Barry Coker of the Bardon Art agency recruited him and Donne Avenell to write scripts for a comic based on Leslie Charteris' The Saint that he was packaging for a Swedish publisher. He wrote for the title until 1976. He also wrote Buffalo Bill stories, and from 1976 to 2004 stories for Lee Falk's The Phantom, for the same publisher. His earliest stories were credited to "John Bull", but he soon began using his real name. In 1975-77 he and Avenell wrote Powerman, drawn by Dave Gibbons and Brian Bolland, published in Nigeria by Bardon Press Features. From June to November 1975 he edited Lindy, an IPC girls' weekly.

He died in Brighton, Sussex, on 5 February 2005.


  • Burl Barer, The Saint: A Complete History in Print, Radio, Film and Television of Leslie Charteris' Robin Hood of Modern Crime, Simon Templar, 1928-1992, McFarland, 2003, pp. 177-188

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