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Colleen McCullough
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    (June 1, 1937-January 29, 2015)
    Born in Wellington, New South Wales, Australia
    Best known for 'The Thorn Birds' (1977) and the Masters of Rome series: 'The First Man in Rome' (1990), 'The Grass Crown' (1991), 'Fortune's Favorites' (1993), 'Caesar's Women' (1996), 'Caesar' (1997), 'The October Horse' (2002) and 'Antony and Cleopatra' (2007)
    Also wrote 'Tim' (1974), 'An Indecent Obsession' (1981), 'The Ladies of Missalonghi' (1987), 'Morgan's Run' (2000), 'The Touch' (2003), 'On, Off' (2006) and 'Too Many Murders' (2009)
    She originally planned to become a doctor until she developed dermatitis from an allergy to surgical soap.
    She said, 'I have an editor in my head. That's why I can't read Harry Potter, because Rowling is such a lousy writer.'
    She chain smokes.
    During the Pitcairn Islands sexual assault trial (2004), she said that the rapes committed by the defendants were 'indigenous customs' and 'It is Polynesian to break in your girls at 12.'
    The paperback rights for 'The Thorn Birds' sold for a then-record $1.9 million.
    She said, 'The lovely thing about being forty is that you can appreciate twenty-five-year-old men more.'
    Macquarie University in Sydney awarded her a doctor of letters degree to acknowledge the depth of historical research in her 'Masters of Rome' novels.
    She underwent brain surgery to relieve the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia, which causes excruciating pain to all parts of the face (2009).

Credit: C. Fishel

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