Famed novelist Pat Conroy died on Friday at his home on Battery Creek after a rather short battle with pancreatic cancer at age 70.

Conroy had been diagnosed with the disease only four weeks ago. After being diagnosed Conroy announced on February 15 that he would intend to fight pancreatic cancer hard.

Pat Conroy arrived in Beaufort as a young Marine brat where he was able to find a home to nurture him as well as a palette for his famous novels. His novels were never short on harsh stories from a tumultuous past, whether picturing an abusive father or tales of inadequate schools.

Photo: hereandknow.wbur.org
Photo: hereandknow.wbur.org

Conroy also loved his hometown and made his best to tackle important subjects in his best-selling novels as he raised environmental issues without holding back. It’s important to remember that the Lowcountry was the 23rd time Pat has moved in a 16-year track record going from town to town without settling down. However, the people loved the famed novelist for his great charisma and the ability to write honest books that people could relate to.

Renowned books such as Prince of Tides and The Great Santini published by Pat Conroy were able to put his adoptive hometown Beaufort on a national stage, said Beaufort historian Lawrence S. Rowland. Conroy was considered South Carolina’s most famous man of letters in this or any period in history, as he was a fountain of amazing stories told with geniality and eloquence.

Stories about dysfunctional families, abusive military officials, and flawed people were always a must-read for common readers, as he gained popularity in his early stages and never lost it. However tragic and gruesome Conroy’s tales can be, the author never lost his funny bone because the way he managed to find humor and joy in his beloved South Carolina.

“He was a wonderful human being who, notwithstanding the many mountains he climbed, which he shared with us in his stories, probably had the best two years of his life recently,” said Beaufort Major Bill Keyserling who was Pat’s dear friend.

Source: The New York Times