Frank McCourt dies

"Angela's Ashes" author was 78

Frank McCourt, the Irish-American school teacher who became a best-selling author in his 60s with the book Angela’s Ashes, died at the age of 78. Angela’s Ashes, about his childhood in Ireland, won the Pulitzer Prize, sold widely, and was made into a film. Two more books followed about his own life, plus the children’s book Angela and the Baby Jesus. McCourt was often seen as the living embodiment of the American Dream, having risen from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to fame. In 2000, he told Laura T. Ryan of the Syracuse Post-Standard that his post-retirement success was proof that anyone’s life can be good reading: “The only big difference between me and millions is that I wrote this best seller. And I think their lives are best sellers…which is a pretty good line. I just created that line: ‘My life is a best seller.’ ” McCourt was admitted to a New York hospice to be treated for melanoma, and according to his brother Malachy, “he was doing fine but he got meningitis two weeks ago and it turned the whole thing topsy-turvy.”

New York Times