Stern died Wednesday from complications of heart surgery, The New York Times reported Friday.
Stern penned nine novels then turned to the short story, in which he infused satire and mercy, The New York Times said.
Stern won the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the International Prix du Souvenir, two O. Henry Awards and two Pushcart Prizes and among honors.
Stern wrote daily, even with other jobs. He was a cellist for jazz great Charlie Parker and the Indianapolis Symphony. He was a vice president at Warner Bros. Studios, CBS and the McCann-Erickson advertising firm. He was in charge of cultural programming at the 92nd Street YMCA in New York. At the time of his death, he was Cullen Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Houston.
Stern is survived by his wife, a son and two grandchildren.