Famous American author Philip Roth dies at 85

Rodolfo Vieira
May 24, 2018
04:11 P.M.
Share this pen

Philip Roth, one of the most famous and influential novelists in the world, passed away at the age of 85.


The writer drew his last breath at a New York City hospital on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Roth died of a congestive heart failure, leaving behind a legacy that few authors can match.

His passing was announced to the Associated Press by his literary agent, Andrew Wylie, who considered him a brilliant and fascinating man. Throughout his career, Roth wrote dozens of novels, including American Pastoral and Goodbye, Columbus.

The late 85-year-old revealed a particular interest in the Jewish identity, as well as the American Dream and the lust and anxiety that afflicted men of all ages.


Being one of the most acclaimed authors of his generation, Roth managed to win several awards: two National Book Critics Circle Awards, a Man Booker International Prize, three PEN/Faulkner Awards and a prestigious Pulitzer.

Roth grew up in Newark, New Jersey; he attended both Rutgers and Bucknell University, and while at the University of Chicago, he received a Masters' degree in English literature.

He managed to achieve a certain level of fame in 1959 thanks to his collection of short stories, Goodbye, Columbus, which would serve as inspiration for Love Story, a film produced in 1969, starring Ali McGraw and Richard Benjamin.


Roth got his first novel, Letting Go, published in 1962, and later wrote Portnoy's Complaint, which was so successful that it propelled him to a new level of fame, as well as some infamy.

Source: GettyImages/GlobalImagesUkraine


The book was very frank about sex, which angered the Jewish communities, especially since it became a commercial hit. Much like Goodbye Columbus, Portnoy's Complaint was adapted into a movie in 1972.

In 1997, Roth's hard work finally paid off; he was awarded a Pulitzer for American Pastoral, which was adapted to the big screen in 2016. 

It seems like a pattern, but several of his books turned into movies at some point, such as the Human Stain, in 2003, Elegy, in 2008, which was based on The Dying Animal, and The Humbling, in 2009.

Roth retired from writing in 2012 but remained a figure of fascination to both fans and the media, which would schedule interviews with the author from time to time.