24 Nov 2012

Author Bryce Courtenay dies

6:03 am on 24 November 2012

Author Bryce Courtenay has died at home in Canberra.

Courtenay, 79, who moved to Australia from South Africa in the 1950s, had stomach cancer and died on Thursday night.

He was best known for The Power of One, a novel about a child's journey to adulthood under apartheid in South Africa.

Published in 1989 when he was 55, the book sold more than eight million copies and was translated into 18 languages as well as being made into a film.

The ABC reports Courtenay took up writing after 30 years working in advertising in Sydney. In total, his books sold sold more than 20 million copies.

He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1995 and awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra in October 2012.

Courtenay is survived by his second wife, Christine, and two children. Another son died as a result of HIV-Aids contracted during treatment for haemophilia in 1991.