Author David Morrell reports on Twitter this morning that his friend, author Robert B. Parker, died earlier today "sitting at his desk." Parker is the author of, most famously, the Spenser novels, which became a popular television series, Spenser: For Hire.
According to Wikipedia, Parker was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, married Joan H. Parker on 26 August 1956, and had two sons, David and Daniel. After earning a BA degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, Parker served in the US Army in Korea. In 1957, he earned his Master's degree in English literature from Boston University and then worked in advertising and technical writing until 1962.
Parker received a PhD degree in English literature from Boston University in 1971. His dissertation, titled "The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage and Urban Reality", discussed the exploits of fictional private-eye heroes created by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. He wrote his first novel in 1971 while at Northeastern University.
Another of Parker's characters, Jesse Stone, has a new novel, SPLIT IMAGE, set for release February 23.
And here's a blog with a lot more information.