Little Big Man author Thomas Berger has died, aged 89.

The writer passed away at Nyack Hospital in New York state on 13 July (14), a week before his 90th birthday.

His health had been deteriorating in recent months, according to his literary agent Cristina Concepcion.

The versatile wordsmith, who penned 20 novels ranging in genre, is best known for his third book Little Big Man.

The 1964 satirical story was adapted into a big screen version starring Dustin Hoffman in 1970.

Berger, who served in World War Ii, is also known for the novel Neighbors, which was turned into a film starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in 1981.

He was a finalist for the coveted Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1984 for his novel The Feud, which was also made into a movie, and in 2012, Samuel L. Jackson starred in Meeting Evil, which was based on another of Berger's books.