Conroy, who blended tales of his childhood with vivid descriptions of life in SC in his novels, had announced in a February 15 Facebook post that he had pancreatic cancer.

His works include "The Boo", "The Water is Wide", "The Great Santini", " Lords of Discipline", "The Prince of Tides", "Beach Music", "My Losing Season", "The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life", "South of Broad", "My Reading Life" and "The Death of Santini".

He is recognised as a leading figure of the 20th Century's literature of the American South.

Streisand both directed and starred in the film adaptation of Conroy's novel The Prince of Tides.

The late author, who had been living in Beaufort since 1993 and was now writing another novel, is survived by his wife, novelist Cassandra King, the Beaufort Gazette reported. It was adapted into the 1991 film starring Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand that was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and for Conroy as co-author of the screenplay with Becky Johnston. "Don't worry about how long it takes or how long it is when you're done". I liked it because I never had a home. He has struggled with diabetes and other ailments in recent years.

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He was born Donald Patrick Conroy on October 26, 1945. He attended 11 schools in 12 years before his father was assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort. "It was the first name that was ever associated with me that put me in a place".

Instead of a military career, Conroy became a teacher on isolated, impoverished Daufuskie Island, where many of his students were illiterate and direct descendants of slaves. The Water Is Wide became the Jon Voight-starrer Conrack in 1974.

"The book roared through my family like a nuclear device", Conroy told the Florida Times-Union in 2005. He passed away at his home in Beaufort, South Carolina.

"If you have a little luck, any luck at all, if you do it right, there's a great possibility you can teach the whole world how to dance".