July 26, 2009 in Nation/World

In Passing

From Wire Reports

E. Lynn Harris, novelist

Los Angeles – E. Lynn Harris, a best-selling author of popular black fiction who shattered barriers by writing about gay characters in novels such as “Invisible Life” and “Just As I Am: A Novel,” died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 54.

Harris, who divided his time between Atlanta and Fayetteville, Ark., became ill at a hotel in Beverly Hills during a visit to Los Angeles. The coroner’s office is conducting an autopsy.

A former computer salesman who quit his job in 1990, Harris launched his literary career with “Invisible Life,” a 1991 novel about a previously straight young black man who begins leading a double life after becoming attracted to a man during his senior year of college.

John Dawson, rock musician

San Francisco – John “Marmaduke” Dawson, a longtime Grateful Dead collaborator who co-wrote “Friend of the Devil” and developed a devoted following with his psychedelic country group New Riders of the Purple Sage, has died. He was 64.

Dawson died Tuesday from stomach cancer in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he had retired several years ago.

With the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Dawson co-founded New Riders in 1969 to showcase his songs along with Garcia’s pedal-steel guitar playing.

The band toured with the Dead starting in 1970 and released eight albums from 1971 to 1976.

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