Evangelical pastor and best-selling author Tim LaHaye died Monday in a San Diego area hospital, days after suffering from a stroke. He was 90 years old.
Family confirmed the news on Tim LaHaye's website.
LaHaye is best known for co-writing the popular 16-book "Left Behind" series with Jerry Jenkins. The fiction series focused on the return of Jesus and the Rapture as described in the Book of Revelation.
Since the series' first novel was released in 1995, the "Left Behind" books have sold more than 80 million copies and topped multiple best seller lists.
"Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul I don't expect to fill until I see him again," Jenkins said.
"The Tim LaHaye I got to know had a pastor's heart and lived to share his faith. He listened to and cared about everyone, regardless of age, gender, or social standing. If Tim was missing from the autograph table, or the green room of a network television show, he was likely in a corner praying with someone he'd just met -- from a reader, to a part-time bookstore stock clerk, to a TV network anchorman."
LaHaye authored more than 60 other non-fiction books focused on family life, Bible prophecy, secular humanism and other topics. More than 14 million of those books are in print in as many as 32 languages.
Born in Detroit, LaHaye held pastor positions at churches in South Carolina and Minnesota before he and his family settled in San Diego County.
He led the Scott Memorial Baptist Church through multiple expansions and founded a pair of accredited Christian high schools, a school system consisting of 10 Christian schools and Christian Heritage College, now known as San Diego Christian College. With the late Henry Morris, LaHaye also co-founded the Institute for Creation Research, a group focused on examining science related to creationism.
LaHaye is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Beverly; four children; nine grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; a brother, Richard LaHaye; and a sister, Margaret White.
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