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Eric Jerome Dickey, the prolific Black author who helped bring the innermost workings of Black love, relationships and Black contemporary life to the mainstream, has reportedly died after battling a longtime illness. He was 59-years-old.

Dickey’s death was initially shared by his cousin named La Verne Madison Fuller and was later confirmed by his publicist.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm that beloved New York Times best-selling author Eric Jerome Dickey passed away on Sunday, January 3, in Los Angeles after battling a long illness. He was 59,” reads his publicist’s statement.

Throughout his storied career Dickey rose to prominence as a New York Times best-selling author. Dickey wrote over 20 books over the course of his life with fan favorites including “Milk in My Coffee,” “Cheaters,” and “Sister, Sister.”

Dickey, a native son of Memphis, Tennessee, left a career in the the aerospace industry as a software developer to pursue his creative talents, yearning to tap more into his artistic side.

He soon began expanding his pen by exploring poetry writing, comedic writing and screenwriting. “The film work gave me insight into character development, the acting classes helped me understand motivation…All of it goes hand in hand,” Dickey said according to his website bio.

After completing a program sponsored through the International Black Writers and Artists program, Dickey wrote and developed his first screenplay titled “Cappuccino.” But his screen-writing journey still didn’t satisfy his writing palette and wanted to find another medium to share his words with audiences.

“I’d set out to do a ten-page story and it would go on for three hundred pages,” he said.

After working for three years to secure an agent Dickey says a “door opened.”

“And I put my foot in before they could close it.”

He published his first book “Sister, Sister” in 1996 which became an international best-seller and launched him into the writing stratosphere in the genre of urban fiction.

His work over almost 30 years earned him a series of NAACP Image Awards, the 2006 Best Contemporary Fiction and Author of The Year, and Storyteller of the Year in 2008 at the 1st Annual Essence Literary Awards.

Several of Dickey’s contemporaries and fans began sharing stories of the author’s impact on their lives and work.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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