Mary Higgins Clark has died at the age of 92.
The award-winning author of more than 50 thrillers that have sold more than 70 million copies wrote her last novel in 2004.
Speaking about the death of her husband, Michael Higgins, in 2005, she said: 'I did not wish to put more pressure on him, more suffering, more physical danger. He knew that was a big contribution he was making in my life.'
The New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark, pictured in her office in New York City in October 2010
Clark was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 1998 and was described by Oprah Winfrey as the 'queen of suspense'.
Born in New York City, the daughter of a Sunday school teacher and a schoolteacher, she started publishing when she was just 16.
In her early 20s, she married her husband of 50 years, Michael Higgins, and named one of her novels Sister Disturbances.
The couple divorced in 1969 after 24 years together, but reunited in the late 1970s and founded Mary Higgins Clark Publishing.
Starting in 1973, it published a new book each year, usually a thriller about a crime, a paranormal event or a medical story.
The first addition to the Mary Higgins Clark publishing house was The Eyes of Eddie Doyle, a tale of seven FBI agents locked in an underground facility to gather information about a serial killer.
As of 2010, the company was producing books for every one of the formats on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.