DANBURY: Edmund Morris, best known for writing a book about the life of Ronald Reagan, has died at the age of 78. .
Morris died Friday in a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, a day after suffering a stroke, his wife, Sylvia Jukes Morris, said.
Morris was a polished prose stylist whose career took off with the success of his first book, “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980. But what cemented his legacy was “Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan.”
Morris inserted himself as a fictional narrator in the story, guiding readers through Reagan’s childhood in Illinois and rise to the presidency.
Published in 1999, a decade after Reagan left the White House, the book was widely denounced as a grotesque abuse of historiography, although some observers noted that Reagan himself was known for fabricating parts of his past.
Morris was born in Nairobi, Kenya, the son of South African parents. He was educated in Kenya and attended college in South Africa, according to his brief bio on the Penguin Random House website . He moved to Britain in 1964 and found work as a copywriter in London.
After the success of his Roosevelt biography, he wrote two additional volumes on the 26th president, “Theodore Rex” in 2001 and “Colonel Roosevelt” in 2010. A New York Times critic wrote that Morris’ trilogy “deserves to stand as the definitive study of its restless, mutable, ever-boyish, erudite and tirelessly energetic subject.”
Morris’ upcoming book, “Edison,” is being published by Random House on Oct. 22. (Agencies)