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Rod McKuen dies at 81; poet/songwriter had meteoric rise and fall
Rod McKuen dies at 81; poet/songwriter had meteoric rise and fall

Rod McKuen, a wildly successful poet and songwriter in the late 1960s and 1970s — with massive book sales, a No. 1 hit song, concerts around the world, frequent TV appearances and an entire album of his works recorded by Frank Sinatra — slipped into obscurity almost as quickly as he came to fame. By the 2000s, McKuen was not surprised that people thought he had died. "I've gotten mail addressed to the Estate of Rod McKuen," he told the Chicago Tribune in 2001. McKuen, 81, whose gentle verses on love and loss resonated at a time of flower children and incense burning, died Thursday at a Beverly Hills rehabilitation center. The cause was respiratory arrest...

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