NEW YORK - U.S. author John Updike, a leading writer of his generation who chronicled the emotional drama of American small town life with searing wit, died on Tuesday, his publisher said.
"It is with great sadness that I report that John Updike died this morning at the age of 76, after a battle with lung cancer." said Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A. Knopf, a unit of Random House.
"He was one of our greatest writers, and he will be sorely missed."
Latimer said Updike died in a hospice in Massachusetts.
Known for exploring themes of sexual tension, and spiritual and moral angst in small town settings, Updike's "Rabbit is Rich," published in 1981, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
A decade later, his "Rabbit at Rest" won a second Pulitzer Prize.
Updike was also a poet and short-story writer and essayist.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Updike studied English at Harvard University, where he contributed to, and later edited, the satirical Harvard Lampoon Magazine. He later joined the writing staff of the New Yorker magazine.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Editing by Frances Kerry