Best-selling novelist Patricia Nell Warren has died at 82, several outlets reported.
Warren's 1974 novel, The Front Runner, told the story of an affair between a closeted coach and his out star athlete. LGBTQ running groups all over the nation are named Front Runners after the book.
An out lesbian, Warren was the author of more than 10 books, including Harlans's Race, Billy's Boy, and The Fancy Dancer. The Front Runner was the first work of gay fiction to make the New York Times best-seller list.
In a statement sent to Windy City Times, current Chicago Frontrunner President, Dr. Travis Woulfe said, "We are grateful and salute her particularly for her seminal work, The Front Runner. In the book she did two amazing things. She found commercial success with an LGBT theme and she created her own living memorial. Our chapter, Chicago Frontrunners, is one of an international group that keeps running due to her inspirational book. We are saddened at her passing but will keep celebrating her through our running."
"Patricia had a great presence, elegant and stately with sparkle in her eye," said Corbin Woodlinga former Chicago Frontrunner president and member for 30 years who also knew Warren personallyadded in the release.
Also see: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Patricia-Nell-Warren-author-of-first-gay-novel-on-NYT-Best-Seller-List-dies-/65426.html .