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James Fogle, ‘Drugstore Cowboy’ Author, Dies At 75 In Prison

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James Fogle, the author behind the autobiographical crime novel Drugstore Cowboy, died Thursday at age 75.

A state corrections spokeswoman confirmed Fogle’s death, saying that he died in the Washington State Reformatory’s infirmary ward, where he had been serving a 15-year sentence for holding up a pharmacy in a Seattle suburb in 2010.

After Fogle’s passing, the Medical Examiner’s Officer completed an investigation and determined that he had died from probable malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the cells that exist in the membrane covering our body organs .

The cause has been determined to be natural.

The Seattle Times reports that by the time he penned “Drugstore Cowboy,” which shares Fogle’s experiences in a group of addicts who roamed the Pacific Northwest robbing pharmacies and hospitals to feed their drug habits, James had already spent half his life in prison.

James was still behind bars when Portland filmmaker Gus Van Sant approached him and asked for permission to turn his tale into a Hollywood movie. What resulted was the 1989 film “Drugstore Cowboy,” which starred Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch and Heather Graham. The film was very well received critically, and won several awards.

NWCN reports that in Fogle’s later years, the convicted felon sounded remorseful about his life of crime.

“I think it started out as an addiction to wanting to be a criminal,” he said in 2011. “There’s a lot of things I probably should have done different.”

NWCN has more on on James Fogle, the real Drugstore Cowboy, in the video below:

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Comments

13 Responses to “James Fogle, ‘Drugstore Cowboy’ Author, Dies At 75 In Prison”

  1. Anonymous

    You call this mutt talented because he wrote a book? Give me a break! Based on your impressions, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck, Richard Kuklinsky, etc. etc. could be described in the same fashion. Why don't you visit his grave and have a heart to heart. I suspect you can join all of his other admirers.

  2. David Pullen

    Funny…I didn't see the word "talented" in the article, but I did see "remorseful". Sure, any convict can write a book, but not every book gets made into a movie…and not every convict is "remorseful" about their wasted life. I'm positive there were better things he could have done with his life…but addictions are a hard monkey to kick for some and not everyone can do it.

  3. Donard Dwyer

    Why's he a mutt? He didn't harm anyone and being a junky criminial "mutt" he contributed more to the world with his writing than you will with anything. Eat a dick.

  4. Mark Walsh

    being able to write a book while in prison isn't talent…WTF else are you going to do? IT'S PRISON! you want to see imprisoned Talent? Go Look at Kevin Mitnick…He wrote a book in Prison too…but you probably have no clue who he is because nobody cares about computer nerds! even one's as talented as him or myself for that matter.

  5. Catherine Moore

    To all the people commenting below me, it does take talent to write a book. It takes drive and determination tg start AND finish it. It takes talent to make it something anyone else would be interested in. Hey this was his life and he lived it. I don't see any award winning movies about YOUR life.

  6. Linda Henman

    Hard to judge or condemn. As he said he did it 'his' way and lived the life he wanted to. Also he told a true story of the way it was for many at that particular time in the city's history.

  7. Allen Palmatier

    So writing a book in prison isn't talent but yet you admire Kevin Mitnick who wrote a book in prison and call it talent, ironic. I would like to add, yes I know who Kevin Mitnick is, thanks for making the rest of us talented "computer nerds" look idiotic.

  8. Michael Israel

    Are you bi-polar or just plain retarded? You state that writing a book while incarcerated does not qualify as talent yet you praise Kevin Mitnick for doing THE EXACT SAME THING! I think you may be in need of a refill on your medication, sir. I'm also curious about your self-proclaimed "talent" as a "computer nerd." I could use a good chuckle or two.