Richard Adams, author of famous children's book Watership Down, has died at 96.
The tale about a group of young rabbits searching for a new home became a best seller after it was published in 1972.
In a statement Watership Down Enterprises said: "Richard's much-loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10pm on Christmas Eve."
Mr Adams didn't begin writing until he was 52, after he told the story of Watership Down to his two daughters, who encouraged him to write a book. It sold over a million copies in the United Kingdom and United States in record-breaking time.
The best-seller was adapted for screen in 1978, and won both the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Carnegie Medal.