Alumnus Publishes Book on his Father – Legendary “Mad Mike”
A biography on mercenary legend “Mad Mike” Hoare – written by his son, University of Natal alumnus Chris Hoare – is now available in bookstores in South Africa and in Britain.
Titled: Mad Mike Hoare: The Legend, the book’s author had unique access to his father’s life story and was thus able to separate the man from the myth and present the tale to the public in a highly entertaining style.
In 1964-1965, Colonel Mike Hoare led 300 “Wild Geese” mercenaries across the Congo to crush a communist rebellion, rescue 2 000 nuns and priests from barbarity, beat Marxist revolutionary leader and freedom fighter Che Guevara and become a hero and household name in the Western world.
Of Irish stock, Hoare was schooled in England and, during World War 2, was the “best soldier in the British Army”. He demobbed as major and qualified in London as a chartered accountant before emigrating to Durban.
Going rogue, he started living dangerously to get more out of life, including trans-Africa motorbike trips, bluewater sailing, exploring remote areas and leading safaris in the Kalahari Desert.
He met a CIA agent who was to change his life and later, Nelson Mandela. thereafter, Hoare was technical advisor to the film The Wild Geese, which starred Richard Burton playing Mike Hoare.
In 1981, he led 50 soldiers of fortune in a bid to overthrow the socialist government of the Seychelles. Things went wrong and Mike spent three years in jail in South Africa for hijacking a Boeing 707 which had flown him and his men to safety, landing in Durban.
Said Chris Hoare: ‘My father, who turns 100 on 17 March this year and lives in Durban, was essentially a gentleman adventurer, probably the last of that breed. I like to think he was an officer and a gentleman with a bit of pirate thrown in.’
Published by Partners in Publishing, the 348-page book is fully referenced, has 89 photographs and is indexed.
· Chris, Hoare’s eldest son, attended Michaelhouse, going on to earn a B Econ degree from the then University of Natal in 1971. He has spent most of his working life in journalism of different kinds. It took him about 12 years to complete the book.
For more information contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org