Does a lawsuit die when an author does?

Some of you readers are ahead of me in covering this news: I got search strings on Richard Ben Cramer when I logged into Sidebar. But I did not know that Richard Ben Cramer died until this, in today’s Publisher’s Marketplace:

Richard Ben Cramer, 62, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of WHAT IT TAKES, on the 1988 presidential campaign, died Monday from complications of lung cancer in Baltimore. Cramer was also the author of books on baseball players Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio, and most recently HOW ISRAEL LOST: THE FOUR QUESTIONS (2004). He was under contract to Hachette for a book on Alex Rodriguez that made headlines last month when the publisher sued for failure to deliver a portion of the manuscript. A spokesperson for Hachette told us “we were very surprised to hear of Mr. Cramer’s illness. We had been trying to contact him for well over a year and unfortunately received no response despite repeated attempts, so litigation was a last means recourse.” The company did not say whether they planned to drop the suit.

I wonder why Cramer didn’t tell Hachette that he had cancer, didn’t move to avoid a lawsuit by providing his sad reason. Maybe he himself just didn’t want to believe he might die.

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