BETHESDA, Md. (FOX 11 / AP) - William Peter Blatty, the author of "The Exorcist," has died. He was 89.
Blatty's widow, Julie, says her husband died Thursday at a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She says the cause of death was multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.
Blatty was a former Jesuit school valedictorian who conjured a tale of demonic possession and gave millions the fright of their lives with the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie.
Blatty's story of a 12-year-old-girl inhabited by a satanic force was published in 1971 and sold more than 10 million copies. The film, starring Linda Blair, came out two years later and its box office topped $400 million worldwide.
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