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Controversial Series Creator Dan Wakefield Passes Away at 91

Dan Wakefield, a prolific author and journalist known for his groundbreaking work in television, passed away yesterday at a hospice facility in Miami. He was 91 years old and had been in declining health for some time.

His attorney, Ken Bennett, confirmed his death to the Indianapolis Star. Wakefield, who was born and raised in Indianapolis, made significant contributions to literature and screenwriting throughout his career.

Among his notable works is the creation of the controversial late-1970s drama “James at 15,” a television series that garnered attention for its candid portrayal of teenage life. However, Wakefield resigned from the show after a dispute with NBC executives over the depiction of teenage sexuality in one of the episodes.

In addition to his television work, Wakefield wrote several novels and screenplays. His 1970 novel “Going All the Way” was adapted into a film in 1997, starring Ben Affleck and Jeremy Davies. Similarly, his 1973 novel served as the basis for the 1979 film “Starting Over,” featuring Burt Reynolds and Jill Clayburgh.

Born on May 21, 1932, Wakefield began his career as a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis before writing for prominent magazines such as Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times Magazine. He published his first non-fiction book, “Island in the City: The World of Spanish Harlem,” in 1959, followed by several others on varied subjects.

Wakefield’s contributions to literature and television were significant, and his impact will be remembered by many. He is survived by his goddaughter, Karina Corrales, whom he moved closer to in Miami following a stroke last year.

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