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Historical Fiction Author E.L. Doctorow Dies at the Age of 84

ELDoctorow_Feat(PCM) The literature world lost another great writer in the form of American historical fiction author E.L. Doctorow on Tuesday in Manhattan.

The author’s son, Richard, told the New York Times that the 84 year-old passed due to complications from his lung cancer.

Born in the Bronx, Edgar Lawrence “E.L.” Doctorow began his career in the literature field with the publication of his first novel in 1960, a western fiction titled Welcome to Hard Times, that was inspired by his nine years spent reading countless scripts for westerns for a motion picture company.

After his time as a script reader, Doctorow entered the publishing world as a book editor, then as an editor-in-chief at The Dial Press. E.L. Doctorow left publishing to focus on his writing, becoming a Visiting Writer at the University of California, Irvine, where his writing career took off.

While at UCI, Doctorow published his semi-historical novel about the Cold War, The Book of Daniel (1971), which The Guardian praised as a masterpiece.

Other works of Doctorow’s include Ragtime (1975), which was adapted into a feature film (rated 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and named as one of the 100 best novels of the 20th Century by the Modern Library editorial board, World’s Fair (1985), which won the 1986 National Book Award, the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Billy Bathgate (1989), and the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel, The March (2005).

For his accomplished career, E.L. Doctorow was inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame and was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction in 2012, earned the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction in 2013, and was awarded with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction in 2014.

RIP Edgar Lawrence “E.L.” Doctorow.

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