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Italian Writer Umberto Eco Dead At 84

Umberto Eco

Italian author and philosopher Umberto Eco, best known for his novel The Name of the Rose, has died at age 84.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica said that Eco, who had been suffering from cancer, died at his home late on February 19.

British daily The Guardian hailed Eco as "one of the world's most revered literary names."

“The Name of the Rose,” a murder mystery set in the 14th century, was published in 1980 and transformed him from an academic to an international celebrity.

The book has been translated into 43 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.

Eco started in journalism in the 1950s, working for Italian state-owned television RAI. He continued to publish books throughout his life, his last novel, Numero Zero was released last year.

His other books include Foucault's Pendulum, The Prague Cemetery, and The Island of the Day Before.

Based on reporting by AFP, BBC, and AP