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James Fogle dies; wrote about his crimes

SEATTLE -- James Fogle, who wrote "Drugstore Cowboy," an autobiographical crime novel that led to an acclaimed 1989 film starring Matt Dillon, has died. He was 75.

Fogle died Thursday at a prison in Monroe, Wash., about 30 miles from Seattle, said Selena Davis, a state corrections spokeswoman. A judge had sentenced him to almost 16 years in prison for holding up a pharmacy in a Seattle suburb in 2010.

Fogle died of probable malignant mesothelioma, the Snohomish County medical examiner's office said Friday. He was emaciated and connected to several medical machines in the last week of his life, close friend Daniel Yost told the Seattle Times.

He was terminally ill and barely able to breathe, but his sharp wit and creative drive were ever-present as he pushed Yost, one of his final visitors, to get another of his novels, the autobiographical "Doing It All," onto the big screen, the Times reported.

Fogle had only a sixth-grade education but started writing more than 40 years ago, the Times reported. He wrote his only published novel, "Drugstore Cowboy," in six weeks while serving a 20-year prison term.

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