Renowned romance editor Kate Duffy died Sunday at age 56, following a long illness. Duffy was well-known in the industry for her contributions to the romance genre, from the late 1970s and the “romance revolution” of the early ’80s through the present day. Duffy published and worked with Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, Lori Foster, Heather Graham, Judith McNaught, Mary Janice Davidson, Jacqueline Frank and Mary Jo Putney.

Rochester, N.Y.-born Duffy attended Oxford University and then took a job at Paddington Press in the U.K. She then returned to the U.S. and became an editor at Popular Library, and later worked at Dell, Simon & Schuster (where she was founding editor of Silhouette Books), Harlequin Enterprises (where she founded Worldwide Library) and Kensington Publishing (where she established Brava Books and was most recently editorial director). Duffy received numerous honors from national and regional writers organizations, including the Romance Writers of America.

A wake will be held tomorrow, September 30, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Frank E. Campbell (1076 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y.). A memorial service will be scheduled soon.