Spokesperson says Tulsa author Billie Letts dead after brief illness

TULSA - Tulsa author Billie Letts, 76, died at an area hospital after losing a battle with acute myeloid leukemia, a family spokesperson said.

Letts was a native Tulsan and former teacher at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. She was born May 30, 1938.

She graduated from Union High School before receiving her Bachelor of Science in English and Education from Southeast Missouri State University then went on to get her Master's Degree in Behavioral Science from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Letts was an avid Democrat and activist, she protested on behalf of peace during the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

Letts' novels, short stories and screenplays brought her international acclaim.

Her first novel, "Where the Heart Is," sold over 3 million copies worldwide and has been published in 14 countries, eventually rising to number one on the New York Times paperback bestseller list.

A movie based on the book staring Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd and Stockard Channing, was released in 2000.

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