Best-selling author Eric Jerome Dickey, whose roots began in and extended from Memphis, died in Los Angeles on Sunday (Jan. 3) after battling a long illness. He was 59.
Dickey’s death was confirmed by The New Tri-State Defender on Tuesday via an email exchange with Emily Canders, senior publicity manager, Dutton & Plume, Penguin Random House.
The author of 29 novels, Dickey’s work “has become a cultural touchstone over the course of his multi-decade writing career, earning him millions of dedicated readers around the world,” a release from Canders detailed.
Recently, his book “Sister, Sister” was honored as one of Essence’s 50 Most Impactful Black Books of the Last 50 Years. Also, USA Today featured him on their list of 100 Black Novelists and Fiction Writers You Should Read.
More than seven million of Dickey’s books have been published worldwide.
Dena Owens, TSD’s freelance business writer, was among Dickey’s classmates at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis).
Dickey’s multiple New York Times bestselling novels include “Milk in My Coffee,” “Cheaters,” “Chasing Destiny,” “Liar’s Game,” “Between Lovers,” “Thieves’ Paradise,” “The Other Woman,” “Drive Me Crazy,” “Genevieve,” “Naughty or Nice,” “Sleeping with Strangers,” “Waking with Enemies,” “Pleasure,” “Dying for Revenge,” “Resurrecting Midnight,” “Tempted by Trouble,” “An Accidental Affair” and “Decadence.”
Born on July 7, 1961, Dickey lived on Kansas St. in South Memphis, went to Riverview elementary and junior high schools and graduated from Carver High School. He earned a degree in Computer System Technology from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), moving to L.A. in 1983 in pursuit of an engineering career.
Landing a position as a software developer, Dickey later chose to pursue acting and stand-up comedy. Continuing to grow, he wrote comedy scripts and then published his first short story in 1994.
The winner of multiple author-of-the-year awards, Dickey was honored with numerous other literary honors. “Mr. Dickey’s characters have enough sultry self-confidence to suggest, at their best, a Prince song on paper,” a reviewer once wrote in The New York Times.
Dickey leaves four daughters.
Due to COVID-19, there will be no services at this time.