On September 29, 1930, Colin Dexter was born in Stamford, England, a small town in Lincolnshire about seventy miles north of Oxford, which would later become his residence and the scene of his Morse novels. Alfred Dexter, his father, was a taxi driver, and Colin was educated at Stamford School from 1940 to 1949. After national military service in the Royal Corps of Signals, Dexter read classics at Christ’s College of Cambridge University, from which he received his bachelor’s degree in 1953. For the next three years he was an assistant classics master at Wyggeston School in Leicester, an East Midlands institution about twenty-five miles west of Stamford. He married Dorothy Cooper, a physiotherapist, in 1956 (they eventually had two children, Sally and Jeremy). After receiving his master’s degree from Cambridge, he took a post as sixth form classics master at Loughborough Grammar School. In 1959 he moved closer to Stamford when he became senior classics master at Corby Grammar School. Early in his life Dexter described himself as a socialist in politics and a Methodist in religion, but later he added “lapsed” to each of these descriptors.
In 1966 increasing deafness forced Dexter to retire from teaching, and he became a senior assistant secretary to Oxford University Delegacy of Local Examinations in Summertown. Dexter developed a fascination with crossword puzzles, and he became so adept that he became national champion in the Ximenes...
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