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Frank McCourt “gravely ill”

Sad news.

Frank McCourt is gravely ill with meningitis and is unlikely to survive, the author’s brother said Thursday.

Malachy McCourt said that his 78-year-old brother, best known for the million-selling “Angela’s Ashes,” is in a New York hospice, “his faculties shutting down.”

“He is not expected to live,” said McCourt, himself an author and performer.

Frank McCourt was recently treated for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, but his brother says he had been doing well until about two weeks ago, when he contracted meningitis.

“He was out and about, being active, doing talks and so forth,” Malachy McCourt said.

As you may know, McCourt was my English teacher for my junior year at Stuyvesant High School. (I received word of this via the Stuyvesant HS Class of 1984 Facebook group.) I got to talk to him again a few years ago when he spoke at the annual Planned Parenthood luncheon, and he was basically the same guy I’d remembered, just a lot more famous. Gave a really enjoyable talk, too. He’s a talented writer, and he will be missed.

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6 Comments

  1. Helen says:

    Mr. McCourt was my high school English teacher at Stuyvesant too. Sophomore and junior year. This is the saddest news. He is an amazing man, teacher, writer. I am praying that he pulls through somehow.

  2. Jean says:

    I signed myself into Mr McCourt’s English class my junior yeat at Stuy. He was one of a small cadre of teachers who interacted with his students by holding spirited & thought-provoking discussions. I had the opportunity to hear him speak in Denver (where I now reside), about 8 years ago, and I was amazed when he turned towards me and greeted me as if it had only been days since he last saw me! I finally “confessed” to having signed myself in to his class- and he smilingly told me that he knew. He took the time after his talk to spend 15-20 minutes talking with me and my husband. He was a delightful & kind man and the world will be a sadder place without him.

  3. Lynn Rutledge says:

    His books changed my life forever as to how all people should be treated compassionately.
    I always wanted to go to one of his teachings but couldn’t and I always wanted to meet
    him. I read his books once a year to remind myself to be kind to others-especially the poor. I salute him for surviving what he did and coming through it a great man. I’m so sad
    to hear he is gravely ill but hope he pulls through with that inner strength he has had in the past. May God bless him now in this bleak time. I salute you Frank McCourt for a life
    that has touched so many, mine so very much. I pray you live many,many more years.

  4. Lynn Rutledge July 17,2009 at 10:20p.m. says:

    His books changed my life forever as to how all people should be treated compassionately.
    I always wanted to go to one of his teachings but couldn’t and I always wanted to meet
    him. I read his books once a year to remind myself to be kind to others-especially the poor. I salute him for surviving what he did and coming through it a great man. I’m so sad
    to hear he is gravely ill but hope he pulls through with that inner strength he has had in the past. May God bless him now in this bleak time.

  5. Yolande Sevigny says:

    I just found out,how ill you are and am crying and am so sad! I am your age, I read and reread your books and pray that you will surmount this awfull time as you have before ! God bless you and keep you safe? Yours in prayers . Yolande.

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