José Saramago

* 16 November 1922 – † 18 June 2010


At 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 18th, José Saramago died in his home on Lanzarote at the age of 87, due to a multiple organ failure after a prolonged illness. The author died in the company of his family, taking his leave serenely and quietly.

The loss of José Saramago affects us deeply. Yet he would have wanted us to remember him as he was in life: a remarkable person, a wise man and an erudite who called things by their name – entering into controversy if necessary. His sense of justice and his deeply felt empathy for whoever needed his support was his trademark, as was his powerful prose which gave us a unique cosmos as a gift which is going to last.

José Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for being a great writer, one of the greatest of our times. He was committed to those who surrounded him, to the society in which he lived. He was a lighthouse in times of crisis, a fighter for those who had no one to speak for them. And José was an approachable person, somebody who knew to listen to people.

It was always a great honour and a deep pleasure to work with José, with whom we shared so many ideas and who became a friend over the years. It was only last week that I visited him and his wife Pilar at their home on Lanzarote. I found him weak but calm, in peace. There is no consolation in losing a beloved and adored person. José will leave a vacuum. At the same time, his thoughts and words will always be with us. The great person and thinker José Saramago lives on in our hearts and minds forever.

Nicole Witt with the agency team