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Daniel Keyes, “Flowers for Algernon” author, dies

June 18, 2014

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) — The author of the classroom staple “Flowers for Algernon” has died.

The family of Daniel Keyes says he died at his Boca Raton, Florida, home Sunday at the age of 86.

“Algernon” was first published as a short story in 1959, and later as a novel, and tells of a low-IQ laborer’s transformation through experiments that triple his intelligence, just as researchers did with a lab mouse named Algernon. In the end, the treatment is not lasting, with the book documenting the decline of both the mouse and the protagonist.

Nearly a half-century after the novel’s release, it is still regularly on school reading lists, though it’s also frequently banned for some of its content. It inspired the 1968 movie “Charly,” for which Cliff Robertson won the best actor Oscar.

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