'Legends of the Fall' author Jim Harrison dies at 78

By Danielle Haynes   |   March 27, 2016 at 5:16 PM
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PATAGONIA, Ariz., March 27 (UPI) -- Jim Harrison, the prolific American author and poet, whose novella collection, Legends of the Fall, went on to become a 1994 film starring Brad Pitt, has died, his publisher said. He was 78.

Harrison died Saturday of unknown causes while writing a poem in his study at his winter home in Patagonia, Ariz., Morgan Entrekin, CEO of Grove Atlantic told CNN.

Born in 1937 in Grayling, Mich., Harrison spent his summer months in Montana, an outdoorsman like many of the characters about whom he wrote. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and eating well -- he appeared on an episode of Anthony Bourdain's travel and food series, No Reservations.

"A giant. A Titan. A friend. RIP Jim Harrison ... There will be no more like him," Bourdain wrote in a tweet Sunday.

None of Harrison's 21 works on fiction, 14 books of poetry, two books of essays, a memoir or a children's book were best-sellers, but he enjoyed success, particularly after one story from his collection of novellas, Legends of the Fall, was made into a film starring Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Aiden Quinn. And in 1994 he won the Saturn Award for Best Writing from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for the screenplay for Wolf, starring Jack Nicholson.

Harrison published two books this year: The Ancient Minstrel, a book of fiction, and Dead Man's Float, poetry.

"America lost one of its greatest writers and we at Grove lost a family member. Our thoughts are [with] the Harrison family. His work lives on," Grove Atlantic said in a statement issued on Twitter.

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