You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

E.L. Doctorow, Author of ‘Ragtime,’ ‘Billy Bathgate,’ Dies at 84

E.L. Doctorow, the author of historical fiction whose writing were adapted into feature films including “Billy Bathgate,” “Daniel” and “Ragtime,” has died. He was 84.

The Bronx native died on Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause of death was complications due to lung cancer, his son, Richard, told the New York Times.

Doctorow penned a dozen novels published over the course of five decades between 1960 and 2014. Perhaps his most influential work, “Ragtime” was adapted for the screen in 1981 and again as a staged musical in 1998. In 1997, shortly before the musical opened, Doctorow told Variety that he much preferred the staged version, which he said “caught the spirit” of his writing, whereas the 1981 film “misread my text.”

Still, Variety critic Stephen Klain praised Doctorow in his 1981 review of the film, writing “The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling ‘Ragtime,’ which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation.”

In addition to “Ragtime,” Doctorow’s first work, “Welcome to Hard Times,” was adapted into the 1967 Western of the same name. Likewise, the 1983 film “Daniel” and 1991 gangster film “Billy Bathgate,” which starred Dustin Hoffman and Nicole Kidman, were also based on novels by the influential author.

More Film

  • Dynamo, Spiral Co-produce ‘Falco,’ Re-versioning German

    Dynamo and Spiral Co-Producing 'Falco,' Re-versioning Germany’s ‘The Last Cop’

    E.L. Doctorow, the author of historical fiction whose writing were adapted into feature films including “Billy Bathgate,” “Daniel” and “Ragtime,” has died. He was 84. The Bronx native died on Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause of death was complications due to lung cancer, his son, Richard, told the New York Times. Doctorow penned a dozen […]

  • Lizzy Caplan

    Lizzy Caplan Joining Channing Tatum in 'Gambit' (EXCLUSIVE)

    E.L. Doctorow, the author of historical fiction whose writing were adapted into feature films including “Billy Bathgate,” “Daniel” and “Ragtime,” has died. He was 84. The Bronx native died on Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause of death was complications due to lung cancer, his son, Richard, told the New York Times. Doctorow penned a dozen […]

  • Quentin Tarantino

    California Production Tax Credits to Go to Quentin Tarantino's New Movie

    E.L. Doctorow, the author of historical fiction whose writing were adapted into feature films including “Billy Bathgate,” “Daniel” and “Ragtime,” has died. He was 84. The Bronx native died on Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause of death was complications due to lung cancer, his son, Richard, told the New York Times. Doctorow penned a dozen […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rules Social Media Buzz Ahead of Premiere

    E.L. Doctorow, the author of historical fiction whose writing were adapted into feature films including “Billy Bathgate,” “Daniel” and “Ragtime,” has died. He was 84. The Bronx native died on Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause of death was complications due to lung cancer, his son, Richard, told the New York Times. Doctorow penned a dozen […]

  • Nick Nolte Walk of Fame Honor

    Nick Nolte Reflects on What Acting's Meant for Him Ahead of Walk of Fame Honor

    E.L. Doctorow, the author of historical fiction whose writing were adapted into feature films including “Billy Bathgate,” “Daniel” and “Ragtime,” has died. He was 84. The Bronx native died on Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause of death was complications due to lung cancer, his son, Richard, told the New York Times. Doctorow penned a dozen […]

  • The Post

    Oscars: Steven Spielberg's 'The Post' Arrives With the Zeitgeist in Its Sights

    E.L. Doctorow, the author of historical fiction whose writing were adapted into feature films including “Billy Bathgate,” “Daniel” and “Ragtime,” has died. He was 84. The Bronx native died on Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause of death was complications due to lung cancer, his son, Richard, told the New York Times. Doctorow penned a dozen […]

  • Get Out

    'Get Out,' 'Detroit,' Issa Rae, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige Among Top NAACP Image Award Nominees

    E.L. Doctorow, the author of historical fiction whose writing were adapted into feature films including “Billy Bathgate,” “Daniel” and “Ragtime,” has died. He was 84. The Bronx native died on Tuesday in Manhattan. The cause of death was complications due to lung cancer, his son, Richard, told the New York Times. Doctorow penned a dozen […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content