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E. L. Doctorow Dead: ‘Ragtime’ Author Dies From Lung Cancer At 84

Tue, July 21, 2015 11:19pm EDT by Add first Comment
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So sad. Award-winning author E.L. Doctorow passed away from lung cancer on July 21 in Manhattan, New York, reports confirm. He was 84 years old.

The world has lost a wonderful writer. Renowned historical fiction author E. L. Doctorow died at 84-years-old after suffering complications from lung cancer. E. L., most famously known for his award-winning novel Ragtime, died in a Manhattan, New York hospital on July 21.

E. L.’s son, Richard Doctorow, confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the critically acclaimed author passed away at the hospital after suffering from lung cancer. It’s so sad that E. L. is gone, but his legacy will without a doubt live on.

Shortly after news of E. L.’s death, President Obama, 53, took to Twitter to express that the award-winning author would surely be missed. “E.L. Doctorow was one of America’s greatest novelists. His books taught me much, and he will be missed,” Obama wrote.

E. L. was born in 1931 in the Bronx and penned dozens of novels throughout his lifetime, as well as three volumes of short fiction, a stage drama, and essays on literature and contemporary topics. He was known for his prominent voice in the literature community and for his original way of blending historical topics into fiction. His best known novel, Ragtime, has been said to be about “a nation struggling with modernity,” according to book critic David L. Ulin, and fuses fictional and historical figures, events and characters important in American history. Some of the awards E.L. won during his lifetime include the National Book Award, two PEN Faulkner awards and the National Humanities Medal.

In addition to his son, E.L. is survived by his wife, Helen Setzer, daughters Jenny and Caroline, along with four grandchildren.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to E.L. and his family during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.

— Julianne Ishler