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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
American author Plimpton dies at 76
George Plimpton
Plimpton's sports writing made him famous in the US
American author George Plimpton, who helped Jack Kerouac and Philip Roth get their early breaks, has died aged 76.

A former sportsman, Plimpton's works included Paper Lion, a memoir of his time with the Detroit Lions American football team.

He also founded The Paris Review in 1953, which published the early work of Kerouac and Roth.

Plimpton was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters last year, and also acted in Good Will Hunting.

Author John Updike, an old friend of Plimpton's, said: "My goodness, he was so vital, full of fun."

Plimpton died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan, New York, friend Elaine Kaufman said.

"I saw him the other day, he was so full of energy. He was talking about a trip he took with his family to the top of South America."

He wrote widely about sport in the press as well as in books, describing his experiences in baseball games as well as boxing matches.

In 1996 Plimpton featured in the documentary When We Were Kings, about the famous fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

He also appeared in The Simpsons, playing a professor who ran a spelling contest.

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