Investigative journalist Phillip Knightley dies at 87

Phillip Knightley, an investigative journalist who helped win compensation for victims of thalidomide, has died at the age of 87.

Knightley's literary agent, Rachel Calder, said Friday that he died Wednesday in London.

Born in Sydney in 1929, Knightley worked for publications in Australia, Fiji and India before joining London's Sunday Times in the 1960s. Under editor Harold Evans, the paper became renowned for its investigations, and Knightley was a key part of the team that exposed the failings that led to the thalidomide tragedy. The drug, marketed as a remedy for morning sickness, caused major deformities in thousands of babies.

His books include several volumes about Cold War spies and a history of war reporting, "The First Casualty."

Knightley is survived by his wife Yvonne and their three children.