The new year has just started and with it comes to the sad news about a cultural icon in the literary world. New York Times best-selling author, Eric Jerome Dickey, reportedly died on Sunday, January 3, in Los Angeles. The news was confirmed in a statement received by BET.com from Dickey’s long-time publisher, Dutton & Plume (a subsidiary of Penguin Random House). According to the release, he succumbed after a long illness, although the reason for his death was not stated. He was 59.