The reclusive U.S. author J.D. Salinger, who wrote the American literary classic "The Catcher in the Rye," has died in New Hampshire aged 91, his agent said today.
"He died yesterday at his home in New Hampshire," said literary agent Phyllis Westberg.
"The Catcher in the Rye" was published in 1951, and its story of alienation and rebellion, featuring the teenage hero Holden Caulfield, immediately resonated with adolescent and young adult readers.
The work has been translated into the world's major languages and sold more than 65 million copies.
Salinger has been a recluse since 1953, though, ferociously protecting his privacy in Cornish, a small town in northwest New Hampshire.
Besides "Catcher" he published only a few books and collections of short stories in his literary career, including "9 Stories," "Franny and Zooey," "Raise High the Roofbeam Carpenters" and "Seymour: - An Introduction."
His last published work was in 1965.
Neighbors in Cornish rarely saw him and he never returned phone calls or letters from readers or admirers. Only rumors, infrequent sightings, lawsuits and rare, brief interviews brought him to public attention.
As such, Salinger would have been a disappointment to his most famous creation.
"What really knocks me out," Caulfield said in "The Catcher in the Rye," "is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it."
Jerome David Salinger was born in Manhattan, New York, in 1919.