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Stephen Covey, Author of 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,' Dies


"In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted."

Stephen Covey, author of the popular book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," has died. He was 79 years old.

In a statement sent to employees of a Utah consulting firm Covey co-founded (FranklinCovey), his family said the writer and motivational speaker died at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho, early Monday due to complications from a bicycle accident in April.

"In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted," the family said.

Covey was hospitalized after being knocked unconscious in the bicycle accident on a steep road in the foothills of Provo, Utah, about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City.

At the time, his publicist, Debra Lund, said doctors had not found any signs of long-term damage to his head.

"He just lost control on his bike and crashed," Lund said. "He was wearing a helmet, which is good news."

Catherine Sagers, Covey's daughter, told The Salt Lake Tribune in April that her father had suffered some bleeding on his brain after the bicycle accident. A report at the time detailed the accident:

Covey was a former Brigham Young University professor who became nationally popular after publishing "7 Habits" in 1989. That led to stardom and a successful career not only as an author but also as a consultant at his firm.

The Salt Lake Tribune has more on Covey's life:

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Utah, an MBA from Harvard University and a doctorate from Brigham Young University.

Covey’s management post at BYU led to "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," which launched a second career as management guru for companies and government agencies, among them Saturn, Ritz Carlton, Proctor & Gamble, Sears Roebuck and Co., NASA, Black & Decker, Public Broadcasting Service, Amway, American Cancer Society and the Internal Revenue Service.


"The 7 Habits" also was the catalyst for his Covey Leadership Center in Orem. The center began as Stephen R. Covey & Associates in 1980 and was renamed the Covey Leadership Center in 1989. It grew to 40 offices worldwide that sold training, books, tapes and videos and produced conferences where Covey talked about his approach to business management.

From 1992 to 1996, it had profits of $19 million, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents.

In 1997, the Covey Leadership Center merged with Franklin Quest, which sold a successful time-management planner, to become FranklinCovey. Covey or a trust he established was to receive $27 million in cash or stock as a result of the merger, according to SEC documents.

"7 Habits" spent three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, reports the Salt Lake Tribune, and sparked a flurry of other books including "First Things First," "Principle-Centered Leadership," and "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families," to name a few.

You can watch some of the tips from his book below:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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