The L.A. County Coroner's office announced that successful author E. Lynn Harris, who died suddenly last week at the age of 54, was stricken by heart disease aggravated by high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, according to Associated Press. Harris, who lived in Atlanta, was 54 and in town to promote his new novel, when he collapsed at Beverly Hills' Peninsula Hotel before being taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he died.
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Harris' self-published 1994 novel, Invisible Life, was a breakout event that paved the way for a genre of fiction about gay and bisexual black men. In it, Harris explained the lives of African Americans who had climbed high on the corporate ladder but who remained in the closet. Listen to an NPR interview here, recorded earlier this year, or go to NPR's site to read the transcript.