Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian Nobel laureate who helped define Latin America, dies at 87

The Associated Press

ALTERNATIVE CROP OF XLAT301 - FILE - This undated file photo of Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez is seen in an unknown location. Marquez died Thursday April 17, 2014 at his home in Mexico City. Garcia Marquez's magical realist novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America's passion, superstition, violence and inequality. (AP Photo/Hamilton, File)

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"I'm a journalist. I've always been a journalist," he told the AP at the time. "My books couldn't have been written if I weren't a journalist because all the material was taken from reality."

Before falling ill with lymphatic cancer in June 1999, the author contributed prodigiously to the magazine, including one article that denounced what he considered the unfair political persecution of Clinton for sexual adventures.

Garcia Marquez's memory began to fail as he entered his 80s, friends said. His last book, "Memories of My Melancholy Whores," was published in 2004.

He is survived by his wife, his two sons, Rodrigo, a film director, and Gonzalo, a graphic designer, seven brothers and sisters and one half-sister.

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Associated Press writer Frank Bajak contributed to this report from Lima. Paul Haven and Michael Weissenstein in Mexico City contributed.

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