Sidney Sheldon, who gave us "If Tomorrow Comes", "Windmills of the Gods" and "Rage of Angels" is no more. Read the full story here.
I bet for many like me, he was one of the authors, along with Michael Crichton, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Fredrick Forsyth, Jeffrey Archer, and Robert Ludlum, who provided the basic core of staple reading during undergraduate days. One basic differentiator in many of Mr. Sheldon's novels was the fact that his protagonist was often a woman - strong and independent. He also won the Academy Award for the best original screenplay for "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer" in 1947.