Norman Mailer Dies at 84

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NEW YORK (AP) - Norman Mailer has died.

The noted American author was 84 and died early Saturday at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital of kidney failure.

Word of his death comes from Mailer's literary executor Michael Lennon, who is also his official biographer.

Mailer's debut novel "The Naked and the Dead" was published in 1948 and went on to become a classic, followed by other literary masterworks. The 2-time Pulitzer Prize winner was revered for the insight, passion and originality of his works.

Over the years, Mailer encouraged an image as feisty, streetwise and high-living. He drank, fought, smoked pot, married six times and stabbed his second wife, almost fatally, during a drunken party.

He had nine children, produced five movies, dabbled in journalism and once ran for mayor of New York. At one point, he was banned from the Manhattan YWHA for reciting obscene poetry. And he crusaded against women's lib.

But in the end, as Newsweek magazine review Raymond Sokolov noted, "it is his writing that will count."