Notorious former drug smuggler and author Howard Marks has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he has announced this weekend.
The Oxford graduate, 69, said he had “no regrets” about a life which saw him mingle with A-listers from the entertainment world and spend seven years in jail after being convicted of serious drugs offences.
Marks, also known as Mr Nice, told the Observer he has bowel cancer.
He said: “I’ve come to terms with it in my own way – which for me was about learning how to cry.
“It’s impossible to regret any part of my life when I feel happy and I am happy now, so I don't have any regrets and have not had any for a long time.”
Marks, dubbed “the most sophisticated drugs baron of all time”, grew up in Wales and later worked for the British Secret Service after graduating from Oxford where he earned a degree in nuclear physics and post graduate qualifications in philosophy.
He has also been connected with the Mafia, the IRA, MI6 and the CIA.
He was busted in 1988 by the American Drug Enforcement Agency and sentenced to 25 years at America’s toughest federal jail, Terre Haute, in Indiana.
He was released on parole in 1995 after serving seven years, and has long campaigned for the legalisation of cannabis.
Father-of-four Marks is due to perform to an audience at London’s The Forum next month, featuring guest appearances from actor Rhys Ifans – who played the part of Marks in a film of his life – and members of Welsh group Super Furry Animals.