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Terry Pratchett, the British author of the popular "Discworld" series of fantasy novels, has died of a form of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 66, his publishing house said on Thursday.
Pratchett died at home surrounded by his family with his cat sleeping on his bed, said Larry Finlay, Transworld Publishers' managing director.
Pratchett penned over 70 books, selling more than 75 million copies around the world and becoming one of the U.K.'s most cherished writers. The "Discworld" series was first published in the 1980s, and played off the themes of magic, wizards and witches — a precursor to the "Harry Potter" books.
"As all who read him know, 'Discworld' was his vehicle to satirize this world: he did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention," Finlay said in a statement.
"Terry faced his Alzheimer's disease (an 'embuggerance', as he called it) publicly and bravely," Finlay added. "Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure for decades to come."
Pratchett completed his last book, a new "Discworld" novel, last summer before succumbing to the final stages of Alzheimer's, Finlay said.