Wayne Dyer, who wrote dozens of self-help books and was a guru of sorts for celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, has died at age 75. "Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night," his family wrote on Facebook yesterday. "He always said he couldn't wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying." Dyer, who spent time in orphanages and Detroit's foster system as a child, eventually served in the Navy before going to Wayne State University to study counseling. In 1976, he published his first book—Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life—and it went on to become one of the best-selling books of all time.
Dyer discussed his "self-actualization philosophy," which the Washington Post refers to as "Christian-y" and "Buddhist-ish," on shows including Oprah's, Phil Donahue's, and Sally Jessy Raphael's. He officiated Ellen DeGeneres' and Portia de Rossi's wedding. A sample Dyer quote, per CBS News: "Take the last five minutes of your day and put your attention on everything that you would like to attract into your life. ... Then you'll marinate for eight hours, and you'll awaken and you'll begin to attract the things that are in your subconscious mind." His family did not reveal the cause of his death, but Dyer was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2009; he claimed that the power of positive thinking and a Brazilian doctor's "psychic surgery" healed him. Per USA Today, Dyer once noted that such illnesses are likely "just the body's way of responding to, perhaps, psychological traumas" in a person's past. (Read more obituary stories.)