Author Bryce Courtenay has died at the age of 79.
The acclaimed writer lost his battle with cancer on Thursday (22Nov12), just two weeks after the publication of his new book Jack of Diamonds. He died at his home in Canberra, Australia.
Courtenay went public with his gastric cancer diagnosis in September (12) and told fans he had just months to live. He included a farewell note in his latest book.
A statement from his wife, Christine, reads, "We'd like to thank all of Bryce's family and friends and all of his fans around the world for their love and support for me and his family as he wrote the final chapter of his extraordinary life. May we make the request for privacy as we cherish his memory."
Courtenay was born in South Africa before studying journalism in London and emigrating to Australia in the 1950s.
He spent 30 years as an advertising executive before turning to writing and he sold more than 20 million books throughout his publishing career.
His works included The Power of One, the story of a child growing up under apartheid in South Africa, and April Fool's Day, a personal account of the death of his son Damon, who contracted Hiv from a blood transfusion.