Patricia Nell Warren, the famed lesbian author who ran unsuccessfully for a spot on the West Hollywood City Council in 2006, died on Saturday at the age of 82.
Warren became famous with the publication of “The Front Runner,” a novel about a gay coach working as to promote a gay runner for the Olympics The book sold 10 million copies and gay and lesbian running groups across the country named themselves Front Runners. Warren’s was the first gay-themed novel to be listed on The New York Times Best Seller list.
Warren wrote eight novels, a memoir and four books of poetry. At the time of her death she was living in Sherman Oaks.
Warren’s death inspired comments from friends and followers about how her writing had changed their lives. “I purchased her book The Front Runner in 1974 when I was 15 years old,” said Michael Anthony Alago in a post on Facebook. “It was a Bantam Book paperback that costs $1.75. It was the first piece of gay literature that I read. It told the beautiful and harrowing love story set in the sports world between an ‘out’ American champion long distance runner and his older closeted coach. The writing was so powerful it touched every fiber of my being and allowed me to have the courage be an ‘out’ teenager. Thank you for life Patricia.”
LGBTQ running groups all over the nation are named Front Runners after the book. She was working on the fourth book in the series when she died. Warren was born in Helena, Mont., in 1936 and grew up in southwest Montana where her parents were cattle ranchers. At the age 18, she wrote a short story that won the Atlantic CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING