Bebe Moore Campbell, whose many best sellers such as “Brothers and Sisters” touched on America’s ethnic and social divides, died Monday. She was 56.
Campbell died at home in Los Angeles from complications due to brain cancer, said publicist Linda Wharton Boyd. She was diagnosed with the disease in February.
“My wife was a phenomenal woman who did it her way,” husband Ellis Gordon Jr. said in a statement. “She loved her family and her career as a writer.
Her books, largely fiction and based on real-life stories, included the perspective of many ethnic groups.
One of her first novels, “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine,” was published in 1992 and spanned a 40-year period. It dealt with prejudice in the United States. The book earned her an NAACP Image Award for literature. She followed the book with “Brothers and Sisters,” which focused on race relations in the corporate world after the 1992 Los Angeles riot.
Among her other novels were “Singing in the Comeback Choir,” “What You Owe Me” and “72 Hour Hold,” the latter dealing with a mother coping with her daughter’s bipolar disorder. Her 2003 play, “Even With the Madness,” also focused on mental illness.
She also wrote children’s books, including “Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry” in 2003, which won the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Outstanding Literature Award. Another children’s book, “I’m So Hungry,” will be released next year.
As a journalist, her articles appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Essence and Ebony.
Campbell, whose full name was Elizabeth Bebe Moore Campbell Gordon, was born in February 1950 in Philadelphia. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971.
Campbell is survived by her husband; a son, Ellis Gordon III; a daughter, Maia Campbell; her mother, Doris Moore; and two grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were pending.