New York Times Bestselling Author Jason Matthews Dies

NEW YORK, April 29 New York Times bestselling author and retired CIA officer Jason Matthews died yesterday after a prolonged battle with Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), a rare, untreatable neurodegenerative disease.   He was 69 and is survived by his wife Suzanne, and daughters Alexandra Matthews and Sophie Baumann.

The author of the New York Times bestselling Red Sparrow trilogy of Russian spy novels, Jason Matthews wrote the Edgar award-winning Red Sparrow (2013), which was later adapted into the 2018 Twentieth Century Fox film, Palace of Treason (2015), and The Kremlin’s Candidate (2018), all published by Scribner.

Before he became a writer, Jason Matthews served for 33 years in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations as an operations officer and senior manager, specializing in counter-proliferation, denied area operations, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, foreign cyber threats, and operational training.

“How a bestselling, critically-acclaimed spy novelist sprung from the head of a quiet CIA operations officer appeared to be a great mystery,” said Colin Harrison, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Scribner and Jason Matthews’s editor. “But when you learned Jason Matthews spoke six languages, had read widely for decades, was an astute observer of human behavior, and was adept at composing long classified narratives, it all made sense. His books were not only sophisticated masterpieces of plot and spy craft, but investigations into human nature, especially desire in all its forms.”

Matthews was the Recipient of the CIA Intelligence Medal of Merit and the CIA Career Intelligence Medal. Before Matthews retired from the CIA in 2010, he served as Deputy Chief of Station (DCOS) or Chief of Station (COS) in seven of nine assignments, managing human intelligence sources, and directing complex technical operations.  While serving in nine duty posts in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, Matthews operated against Soviet, Eastern European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern targets.

Scribner is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., a ViacomCBS Company, and a global leader in general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages, and in all printed, digital and audio formats. Its distinguished roster of authors includes many of the world’s most popular and widely recognized writers, and winners of the most prestigious literary honors and awards. It is home to numerous well-known imprints and divisions such as Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Gallery Books, Avid Reader Press, Pocket Books, Adams Media, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, and proudly brings the works of its authors to readers in more than 200 countries and territories. For more information visit our website at


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Contact: Brian Belfiglio
V.P., Director of Publicity and Marketing