Frank McCourt

NEW YORK (AP) — Frank McCourt, author of "Angela's Ashes," the Pulitzer Prize-winning "epic of woe" about his impoverished Irish childhood, died Sunday. He was 78

McCourt had been gravely ill with meningitis and recently was treated for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer and the cause of his death, said his publisher, Scribner. He died at a Manhattan hospice, his brother Malachy McCourt said.

Until his mid-60s, Frank McCourt was known primarily around New York as a creative writing teacher and as a local character — the kind who might turn up in a New York novel — singing songs and telling stories with his younger brother Malachy and otherwise joining the crowds at the White Horse Tavern and other literary hangouts.

The world learned his name, and story, in 1996, after a friend helped him get an agent and his then-unfinished manuscript was quickly signed by Scribner. "Angela's Ashes" was an instant favorite with critics and readers and perhaps the ultimate case of the non-celebrity memoir, the extraordinary life of an ordinary man. The book has been published in 25 languages and 30 countries.

Out of respect for the recent death of Frank McCourt, Cashbox theatre will continue next week with Peter Jacobs of Independent Concert Productions interview on his new show “Echoes of Ireland” a comedy, dance and musical by Frank McCourt.

Cashbox sends their well wishes and condolences to the family, friends and associates of Mr. McCourt.