(CNN) -- Author Frank McCourt, whose tragic childhood became creative grist for his first book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angela's Ashes," died Sunday, according to the Web site of his publisher, Simon & Shuster. He was 78.http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/books/07/19/author.frank.mccourt.dead/index.html
McCourt taught creative writing to high school students in New York City for 30 years before achieving literary acclaim with the 1996 biography.
"Angela's Ashes," named after his mother, also won the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was translated and sold throughout the world.
In the book, McCourt described a desperate childhood marked by severe poverty, malnutrition, neglect, infectious disease and loss.
"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood," he wrote.
May God embrace him! I saw the movie! It was quite moving!