Judith Krantz, best-selling author and columnist, dies at 91

Krantz is survived by her son Tony, daughter-in-law Kristin Dornig Krantz, and son Nicholas.

June 24, 2019 22:06
1 minute read.
A book (Illustrative)

A book (Illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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LOS ANGELES – Judith Krantz, a best-selling author known for her novels Scruples and Princess Daisy, died Saturday from natural causes, surrounded by family, friends and her four dogs at her Bel Air, California, home, her publicist John Tellem confirmed. She was 91.

The Jewish Krantz began her career in journalism, working for Good Housekeeping, writing freelance articles for Macleans, McCalls, Ladies Home Journal and Cosmopolitan. She would remain in the industry for the next 27 years, interviewing a number of prominent women and writing numerous articles – her most popular of which was “The Myth of the Multiple Orgasm.”

In 1977, Krantz completed her first novel, Scruples, turning 50 the same year that it was published. In four months, the book reached No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list, beginning a new career for the famed journalist.

When asked about Scruples in a Times interview, she said, “My novel gives women a big bubble bath. It’s a chocolate éclair. It’s the kind of novel people love. I loved it myself.”

Soon after, Krantz’s second novel, Princess Daisy, also topped the best-seller list, setting the record for the highest price ever paid for a novel at the time.

Currently, Krantz’s books number more than 80 million in print, encompassing over 50 languages. Seven of her novels have been adapted for television as miniseries, with her husband serving as executive producer for most of them, and she also wrote one original miniseries for television, Judith Krantz’s “Secrets”, in 1992.

According to the Jewish Women’s Archives, Krantz is the third-largest-selling female novelist in history.

“Although her goal is for her books to provide escape and entertainment, she does try to make some serious points and has woven such issues as antisemitism and the German occupation into her novels. All of her heroines are working women, and she has said that the subtext of all her books is women’s opportunities,” according to the archives.

Krantz is survived by her son Tony, daughter-in-law Kristin Dornig Krantz, and son Nicholas.

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