Notable Deaths ›

Johanna Lindsey (1952–2019), bestselling romance novelist


Lindsey wrote more than 50 novels, set in a variety of historical and futuristic locales

Johanna Lindsey was the bestselling author of more than 50 romance novels. She often wrote historical romances, with settings including medieval England, Viking-era Norway, the American Wild West, and Regency England. Some strayed from the historical pattern, including a time-travel series and a futuristic series set in outer space. Lindsey’s books were dismissed by some as bodice-rippers, but they were wildly and beloved by her readers and sold more than 60 million copies. Her titles included "Savage Thunder," "Captive of My Desires," "Once a Princess," and her most recent, 2019's "Temptation's Darling." Several of her novels featured cover model Fabio, including 1987’s “Hearts Aflame,” an early career hit for the young model.

We invite you to share condolences for Johanna Lindsey in our Guest Book.

Died: October 27, 2019 (Who else died on October 27?)

Details of death: Died in Nashua, New Hampshire of lung cancer at the age of 67.

Is there someone you miss whose memory should be honored? Here are some ways.

Prolific writing career: Lindsey’s first book was 1977’s “Captive Bride,” a tale of an Englishwoman kidnapped by a sheik. Lindsey said she wrote it on a whim, but when she sent a sample chapter to Avon Books, they asked for the full book, which she quickly wrote. She soon began writing and publishing two books a year, turning out dozens of books over a 40-year career.

Notable quote: “Since I was old enough to appreciate a good novel, I’ve been a romantic. I enjoy happy-ending love stories more than any other type of reading. Romance is what comes out of me.” —quoted in “Love’s Leading Ladies” by Kathryn Falk

What people said about her: “I’m heartbroken to hear about Johanna Lindsey. She’s one of the authors who inspired me to become a romance writer. I still have most of her books (tattered and read-worn) because they are worth reading over and over again.” —author Tammy L. Bailey

“Johanna Lindsey had such an impact. This is a lot to process. My heart goes out to her friends and family.” —author Rebekah Weatherspoon

“My heart hurts. When I was in a bad place emotionally her books pulled me out… long before I ever started writing. Prayers for her family. Her books are what we all strive towards.” —author Rachel Van Dyken

“When I was 13, I found a copy of Johanna Lindsey’s Gentle Rogue. On my aunt’s coffee table… and my life was never the same. I devoured her every book. I escaped on her pages. I dreamed of writing BECAUSE of her. And I am utterly heartbroken at her passing.” —author Christi Caldwell

Full obituary: The New York Times

Related lives: