Pat Conroy, best-selling author of ‘Great Santini’ and ‘Prince of Tides,’ dies at 70

March 5, 2016 5:00 AM

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Pat Conroy, best-selling author of ‘Great Santini’ and ‘Prince of Tides,’ dies at 70

“One of the greatest gifts you can get as a writer,” Pat Conroy once said, “is to be born into an unhappy family.” By that measure alone, Mr. Conroy had ample training. In one best-selling novel after another, he drew on bitter memories, particularly of his despotic and abusive father, a Marine Corps fighter pilot.

“I always thanked Dad for giving me such intense pain as a child,” Mr. Conroy told The Washington Post in 1992, “so I could write about it the rest of my life.”

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