Novelist and television script writer Michael Malone died at his home in Clinton, Ct. on August 19, after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a decade. He was 80 years old.

Malone, the author of 14 novels, including First Lady and Four Corners of the Sky, was born in Durham, N.C. and graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Malone attended graduate school at Syracuse University and then Harvard University, but dropped out of Harvard before completing his Ph.D dissertation there.

In his books, Malone advocated against the death penalty, raised awareness about the AIDS crisis and Lupus, and was an early supporter of LGBTQ rights. His 11 novels set in the South emphasized the dangers of white supremacy.

Besides 14 novels, Malone wrote short fiction and two nonfiction books, as well as plays, musicals, and was the head writer for the daytime soap operas One Life to Live and Another World. His 2005 novel, The Killing Club was supposedly narrated by a character on One Life to Live, whose name appeared on the jacket as co-author.

Sourcebooks publisher Dominique Raccah, whose company started publishing Malone in 2001 under the newly-launched Sourcebooks Landmark imprint, described him as “an extraordinary Southern novelist, award winning mystery writer and celebrated television writer.” Raccah added: “personally, of course, he was the first established novelist to believe in Sourcebooks and to allow us to publish him, changing our future forever. He was a warm, kind and generous (and very funny) human being, and well loved in our community. We will all miss him.”

A funeral service will be held on August 29 at 11:00 am at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s Rd., Hillsborough, N.C. In lieu of flowers, Malone’s family requests that any donations in his memory be given to the Southern Poverty Law Center.