Author Jilly Cooper is mourning the death of her husband after a long battle with Parkinsons disease, it emerged today.
The romantic novelist has cared for Leo, 79, since he was diagnosed in 2001.
They were lifelong soulmates who met at the age of nine and married 52 years ago.
He was himself a succesful author of books on military history before he retied in 1990.
Jilly recently spoke of her devotion to her husband and how she was determined to nurse him at home rather than put him into care.
She said: “This is his home. He’s going to stay here. I love him. Everybody loves him, he’s precious to us all.
“It’s sad because he has difficulty expressing himself and speaking clearly, so we have difficulty understanding what he means, which must be so frustrating for him, but he is so very brave.”
Leo was born in Yorkshire in March 25, 1934, and attended Radley College before doing National Service in Kenya in the Royal Army Service Corps and the Kingâ€™s Africa Rifles.
He then went into publishing and founded his own firm in 1968.
Leo married Jilly in 1961 and the couple had a famously happy marriage apart from a stormy period in 1990 when it emerged he had indulged in an eight-year affair.
The author cared for him at their home near Stroud, Glos., until his death last Friday.
Jilly recently said she continued to write to fund their medical bills.
Speaking in September, she said: “I’d had a minor stroke so I couldn’t do it on my own. We have a live-in carer and extra carers coming in three times a day, who are marvellous.
“It has to be paid for but the NHS do help with things. This is a big house and all the care is very expensive. I love writing anyway but I have to keep on working because I have to pay for it all.”
Leo leaves Jilly and their two adopted children, Felix, now 44 and a property developer, and Emily, 41, a make-up artist.