Patricia Nell Warren, author of The Front Runner, has passed away. The trailblazing lesbian writer became a front runner in her own right when her novel became the first with a gay theme to land on the New York Times Best Seller List (selling ten million copies). The writer, who came out as a lesbian after divorcing her husband, died at the age of 82.
Her long career began at Reader’s Digest in 1971. During her time there she wrote the novel The Last Centennial and then, in 1974, she completed The Front Runner. Nell tells the story of a gay track coach who trains and mentors a gay runner who is preparing for the Olympics.
Her legacy will live in thanks to the name of the book, which has been adopted by LGBT running groups around the US.