Eric Jerome Dickey, the phenomenal New York Times bestselling author who was as prolific as he was dynamic with his novels on Black love and relationships, passed away on Jan. 3, 2020, after a long bout with an undisclosed illness. He was 59.
Dickey’s death was announced by his publicist and confirmed by family member La Verne Madison Fuller.
Wow, RIP Eric Jerome Dickey. The New York Times bestselling author was 59 years old. pic.twitter.com/Qt9qoplT6J
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 5, 2021
Dickey was a literary lion who’d become inextricably intertwined within the fabric Black culture. He was a frequent visitor on multiple bestsellers lists in America with his portfolio of more than 20 novels including the classics Milk in My Coffee, Cheaters, Sister, Sister and many others.
Just as endearing as his storytelling prowess was his own story of how he became an author in the first place.
The Memphis, Tennessee-born Dickey had what many Black elders frequently characterize as a “good job.” After matriculating through Memphis State University with a degree in Computer System Technology, Dickey moved to Los Angeles and landed a position with both prestige and great upward mobility potential in the aerospace industry as a software developer.
As sexy as that job title sounded, coupled with the high compensation package he was awarded, Dickey felt handcuffed to a career he had no passion for. That quiet flame flickering in his soul to express himself creatively soon raged like an inferno.
Dickey famously left the security of big weekly paychecks to write poetry and also ventured into screenwriting and writing comedy bits. Dickey completed an International Black Writers and Artists program. Dickey then wrote and developed his first screenplay titled Cappuccino. And that’s when he stumbled onto gold.
“I’d set out to do a ten-page story and it would go on for three hundred pages,” he said, according to NewsOne. Dickey paid his dues, pounding the veritable pavement for three years until he finally secured an agent and a “door opened.”
“And I put my foot in before they could close it,” Dickey said.
Dickey didn’t just open the door. He blasted open the floodgates with his debut novel “Sister, Sister,” which became an international bestseller in 1996 and rocketed Dickey into urban literary immortality.
Flip the page to view the celebration of his life by his fans and contemporaries.