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American Author J.D. Salinger is Dead

J.D. Salinger
AP
J.D. Salinger

The brilliant but reclusive author J.D. Salinger has died at the age of 91.

His death was announced in a statement released by Salinger's longtime literary agent, Phyllis Westberg:

“It was announced by his son, on behalf of the family and through the Harold Ober agency, that J.D. Salinger died peacefully yesterday, January 27th, of natural causes at his home in New Hampshire at the age of 91. Despite having broken his hip in May, his health had been excellent until a rather sudden decline after the new year. He was not in any pain before or at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife, Colleen, his son Matt, his daughter Margaret, and three grandsons, Gannon, Max and Avery. He is also survived by his ex-wife and mother of their children, Claire Douglas. In keeping with his life long, uncompromising desire to protect and defend his privacy there will be no service, and the family asks that people's respect for him, his work, and his privacy be extended to them, individually and collectively, during this time.

Salinger had remarked that he was in this world but not of it. His body is gone but the family hopes that he is still with those he loves, whether they are religious or historical figures, personal friends or fictional characters."

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For more than 50 years, Salinger lived in seclusion in the small town of Cornish, N.H.

A wonderful profile of him ran in the NYTimes recently which said in part, “With its very first sentence, his novel ''The Catcher in the Rye,'' which came out in 1951, introduced a brand-new voice in American writing, and it quickly became a cult book, a rite of passage for the brainy and disaffected."

A rite of passage indeed - even for those of us not "brainy and disaffected."

While he is best known for "The Catcher in the Rye" I will forever remember and treasure discovering in sixth grade my favorite, "Franny and Zooey."

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