« Sochi Gays Don't Want an Olympic Confrontation | Main | Man Rescued from End of Crane in Ontario Blaze »

'Great Train Robber' Ronnie Biggs Dead at 84

FILES/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Ronnie Biggs, the infamous mastermind behind the Great Train Robbery of 1963, which many consider the best-known robbery in British history, has died.

"Sadly we lost Ron during the night," Biggs' publicity team tweeted. "As always, his timing was perfect to the end. Keep him and his family in your thoughts."

Biggs was 84. A cause of death was not been revealed.

Here's a look back at the Great Train Robbery and the infamous Ronnie Biggs:

WHO: Ronnie Biggs and about a dozen other robbers

Great Train Robbery

Aug. 8, 1963

Buckinghamshire, in southeast England, on a Royal Mail train traveling from Glasgow to London

Biggs was one of the criminals involved in the Great Train Robbery, 50 years ago. He became a legend after spending more than 35 years living as a fugitive.

The bandits made off with 2.6 million pounds from the train. The haul is equivalent to about $65 million today.

Biggs was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but escaped from Wandsworth Prison in 1965 by scaling a wall with a rope ladder. He set off an international manhunt -- becoming a folk hero in the process -- and spent time in France, Australia and Panama before heading to Brazil.

After Biggs gave a newspaper interview in 1974 in Brazil, Scotland Yard captured him in Rio de Janeiro, but Brazil denied his extradition because his Brazilian girlfriend was pregnant with his child.

He stayed in Brazil, living in open defiance of the law by regaling tourists and locals with stories of the heist and even selling memorabilia.

In 2001, he returned to the U.K. for medical help and was sent to prison. Eight years later, he was granted compassionate release for health reasons and died a free man.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio