Billie Letts, Novelist Got Push from Oprah Winfrey [Derived Headline]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), August 14, 2014 | Go to article overview

Billie Letts, Novelist Got Push from Oprah Winfrey [Derived Headline]


Billie Letts, novelist got push from Oprah Winfrey

Billie Letts, 76, a late-blooming writer whose debut novel, "Where the Heart Is," became a best-seller after Oprah Winfrey endorsed it in 1998 and was the inspiration for a Hollywood film, died Aug. 2 at a hospital near her home in Tulsa, Okla.

Her son Tracy Letts, the playwright who won a Pulitzer Prize for the drama "August: Osage County," said the cause was pneumonia. Billie Letts recently learned she had acute myeloid leukemia.

Ms. Letts was in her 50s and had been teaching college English for more than two decades while writing in her spare time with little success when her fortunes began to change.

Dotty Lynch, a pioneer in presidential campaigns

Dotty Lynch, 69, who was the first woman to be chief poll taker for a presidential campaign and one of the first to recognize the potential benefit of developing campaign themes aimed specifically at winning women's votes, died Sunday in Washington, D.C., of complications of melanoma.

Ms. Lynch's career spanned dozens of election campaigns between 1972 and 2012. She was a consultant to the presidential campaigns of George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, Edward Kennedy and Walter Mondale, and the political editor who designed independent campaign polls and interpreted their results (off camera) for Dan Rather, Lesley Stahl and Bob Schieffer at CBS News, where she worked from 1985 to 2005. …

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