'Galaxy' Author, 'Rock' Writer Die

updated 04/21/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/26/1997 12:00AM

British humor writer DOUGLAS ADAMS, 49, whose cult classic "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" sold more than 14 million copies, died of a sudden heart attack at his home near Santa Barbara, Calif., a spokeswoman said on Saturday. Adams' sci-fi saga, about a group of intergalactic travelers who survive the demolition of Earth to build a space bypass, began life as a 1978 BBC Radio series . . . "Rock Around the Clock" writer JAMES MYERS, 81, died in Florida on Wednesday. His 1954 anthem, co-written Max C. Freedman, was performed by Bill Haley and the Comets and came to symbolize the youth movement of the '50s, when rock was first considered an evil force to be reckoned with. Myers also wrote some 300 other songs, though none as famous or as best selling. "Rock" sold more than 22 million copies.

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