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Stephen R. Covey dies; author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’

Stephen R. Covey, a former business professor whose 1989 leadership manifesto “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” sold more than 20 million copies on the way to becoming one of the most highly effective volumes in the history of self-help publishing, died July 16 at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was 79.
He died of complications from injuries he sustained in a bicycle accident three months ago. The death was announced by FranklinCovey, the multimillion-dollar business and leadership consulting firm he co-founded in his home state of Utah.
Covey was quick to admit that few new ideas could be found in his landmark book and the publishing and motivational-speaking empire he built around it. He was preceded in self-help business literature by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr., the McKinsey consultants who wrote “In Search of Excellence” (1982). Before them came Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (1936).

Yet millions of readers turned to Dr. Covey’s books, whose titles included “First Things First,” “The Leader In Me” and “Everyday Greatness.” Fortune 500 executives lined up for top-dollar seminars where Dr. Covey was treated like a rock star, and President Bill Clinton once summoned him to Camp David, but not because Dr. Covey knew something they did not.


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