Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the literary prince of the magical realism movement, has died at the age of 87.
A prolific writer who started out as a newspaper reporter, Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece was “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
Garcia Marquez died at his home in Mexico City, a source close to his family said. He had returned home from hospital last week after what doctors said was a bout of pneumonia. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed the death.
Known affectionately to friends and fans as “Gabo”, Garcia Marquez was Latin America’s best-known author and most beloved author and his books have sold in the tens of millions.
Marquez was also a fierce critic of so-called American imperialism, considered himself close friends with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and identified himself as a socialist.
The United States banned Garcia Marquez from visiting for a decade after he set up the New York branch of communist Cuba’s official news agency and was accused of funding leftist guerrillas at home.
Despite his reputation as a left-leaning intellectual, critics say Garcia Marquez didn’t do as much as he could have done to help negotiate an end to Colombia’s long conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people.
Instead, he left his homeland and went to live in Mexico.