Author E. Lynn Harris has passed away at the age of 54.
His publicist told the Associated Press that the author died Thursday night after falling ill at the Penninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. Reportedly E. Lynn had become sick a few days ago during a train ride to Los Angeles and had even blacked out for a moment. However, his rep noted, he seemed okay after the brief episode.
E. Lynn was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to hospital officials. The cause of his death is unknown, but an autopsy will be performed early next week.
Sometimes referred to as a “male Terry McMillan,” E. Lynn served as an inspiration to many writers. His work largely focused on the fictional lives Black professional men on the down low. It was a subject he intimately familiar with as he had been a closeted IBM executive for nearly a decade before he became an author. His books, including Love of My Own and Just As I Am, spanned genres, often being categorized as gay fiction, Black fiction and Urban fiction.
His first novel, The Invisible Life, was self-published. He’d shopped the book around to different publishing houses before he resorted to selling the book out of his car in Atlanta. Shortly after that, his book got into the hands of executives at Doubleday. The company went on to release 11 of his book, and 10 of those made The New York Times’ best-sellers list.
While E. Lynn was wonderful at spinning dramatic fictional works, he also penned a memoir called What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.
– Sonya Eskridge