Stephen Covey, the author of the best-selling book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” died early Monday morning at 79 years old, according to The Associated Press.
A motivational speaker and former business management professor at Brigham Young University, Covey gained worldwide fame in 1989 when “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” became a bestseller and has since sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. He later published three other books that each sold more than a million copies.
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Covey died from the lingering effects of a bicycle accident on April 19 in Provo, Utah, that knocked him unconscious and caused some bleeding in his brain, his family told the Associated Press. He passed away at 2:15 a.m. Monday at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. He is survived by his wife, nine children and 52 grandchildren.
“In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted,’’ his family wrote in a statement to KSL-TV in Utah. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude for all of the love and prayers that have been showered upon Stephen and our family from all around the globe over the past several months.’’
After “Seven Habits” became one of the most influential business books of the last 30 years, Covey became a motivational speaker and also founded Covey Leadership Center. The center, which later became FranklinCovey Co. after merging with Franklin Quest in 1997, sold books, tapes and videos and offered training on Covey’s view on business principles.
He also advised companies like Sears Roebuck and Co. and Black & Decker as well as government agencies like NASA and the Internal Revenue Service. In 1996, he was named one of Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Americans.
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Born in 1932 in Salt Lake City, Covey earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard and a doctorate from Brigham Young University after getting a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Utah.
He was still publishing books as recently as last year, when he released “The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems.” In 2010, he became a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State.
Covey was a practicing Mormon, and authored multiple Mormon-themed books, including 2004’s “6 Events: The Restoration Model for Solving Life's Problems.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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