John Updike, prize-winning writer, dead at age 76

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image ap"><span>AP</span></div><span class="caption-text">FILE - In this Feb. 6, 1990 picture, Singer Luther Vandross, second from left, poses with cast members, from left, Marla Gibbs, Alaina Reed Hall, and Kevin Peter Hall following the taping of a two-part episode of the television series &#34;227&#34; at Sunset-Gower Studios in Los Angeles, Ca. Alaina Reed-Amini, the Broadway star and TV actress best known for her long-running roles on &#34;Sesame Street&#34; and &#34;227,&#34; has died. She was 63. Her publicist said she died Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 at St. John&#39;s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. after a two-year battle with breast cancer. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Julie Markes&#41; (AP Photo&#47;Julie Markes)</span></div>
January 27, 2009 10:31:38 AM PST
John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire, died Tuesday at age 76.

Updike, a resident of Beverly Farms, Mass., died of lung cancer, according to a statement from his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.

A literary writer who frequently appeared on best seller lists, the tall, hawk-nosed Updike wrote novels, short stories, poems, criticism, the memoir "Self-Consciousness" and even a famous essay about baseball great Ted Williams.

An old-fashioned believer in hard work, he published more than 50 books in a career that started in the 1950s. Updike won virtually every literary prize, including two Pulitzers, for "Rabbit Is Rich" and "Rabbit at Rest," and two National Book Awards.

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