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Author and father was ‘one of a kind’
Friday, 15 June 2012
TRIBUTES have been paid to an acclaimed author, archaeologist and beloved family man who died suddenly aged 45.
Paul Sussman, from Herne Hill, suffered a ruptured aneurysm a month before the release of his fourth thriller novel.
He died at King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, on May 31.
Paul’s books, set against the mysteries of Egypt’s ancient history, have been described as “an intelligent reader’s answer to The Da Vinci Code”.
His wife Alicky, 39, described him as a “hands-on dad” to their sons Ezra, five, and Jude, three.
She said: “He was one of a kind.
“He was such a good family man. The boys absolutely hero-worshipped him and he loved being with his family.”
Paul was born on July 11, 1966, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire and grew up in north-east London.
He secured a place at St John’s College, Cambridge, to read history, where his academic prowess came to the fore. He boxed as a student and won the Sir Joseph Larmor Award for outstanding intellectual contribution to college life, before graduating in 1988. During his 20s, Paul tried his hand at stand-up comedy and ran the TAD Theatre Group in Widnes, Cheshire.
He worked for The Big Issue during the magazine’s early years, first selling advertising and then becoming a regular columnist. He also worked as a freelance journalist for several national newspapers. Paul met Alicky while presenting a game show – in the character of Pedro Paella –for LiveTV in 1996. Alicky, who was a researcher on the show, said: “His character had an inflatable guitar and he would make up funny songs about the contestants on the show.
“Paul was hilarious and all the contestants loved him.
“I knew he was the one straight away and I think he knew as well.
“We didn’t start going out straight away but when we did, it got serious quickly.”
Paul was invited on an archaeological dig in the Valley of the Kings, in Egypt in 1998 – an area he returned to for several short periods in the following few years. A visit in 2000 changed his life forever.
Alicky said: “Paul went out to Egypt for six-week stints and I went out to see him in November 2000.
“He took me up to the top of the a mountain at sunset.
“We had to climb right to the top, where he proposed to me.
“It was beautiful.
“Of course, I said yes.”
The couple married the following year, just as Paul’s career as a novelist began to take off with the publication of his first book, The Lost Army Of Cambyses.
Over the next few years, Paul published The Last Secret of the Temple and The Hidden Oasis.
His latest novel The Labyrinth Of Osiris will be published next month.
The couple settled in Herne Hill and Paul continued to write from his garden office, while being a doting dad to their young sons.
Alicky said: “Anyone who saw him with the boys would say he was like the Pied Piper – all the children loved him.”
The couple’s first child Layla, died at birth in 2006.
Paul Sussman is survived by his wife Alicky, sons Ezra and Jude.
All content © of South London Press unless stated otherwise.
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