Sylvia Browne, Renowned Psychic, Dead at 77

Celebrity News Nov. 21, 2013 AT 10:10AM
Psychic medium and author Sylvia Browne Sylvia Browne, the renowned psychic and bestselling author, died Wednesday, Nov. 20, at age 77 Credit: Steve Snowden/Getty Images

Sylvia Browne, the renowned psychic and bestselling author, died Wednesday, Nov. 20, in San Jose, Calif., a note on her official website announced. She was 77 years old.

Born in October 1936, Browne grew up in Kansas City, Mo., where she honed her psychic ability before moving to California in 1964. A decade later, in 1974, she founded The Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research, described by her website as "a nonprofit organization helping thousands of people gain control of their lives, live more happily, understand the meaning of life, and find God in their own unique way."

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A New York Times bestselling author, Browne wrote more than 50 books, including Sylvia Browne's Book of Dreams and Life on the Other Side: A Psychic's Tour of the Afterlife. She was also a frequent guest on shows such as Larry King Live and The Montel Williams Show.

"A beacon that shined for so many was extinguished today, but its brightness was relit and will now shine forever for many of us above," Montel Williams said in a statement about Browne's death. "I, like so many of you, lost a friend today. But, as has been for the last twenty years, she'll always remain a part of me."

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Browne was a celebrated member of the psychic community, but her record isn't perfect. In 2004, during an episode of The Montel Williams Show, she told Amanda Berry's mother that her daughter was dead, and that they would reunite "in heaven, on the other side." Last May, Berry and two other captives were found alive in the Cleveland home of Ariel Castro, who had been holding the women hostage for almost a decade.

"If ever there was a time to be grateful and relieved for being mistaken, this is that time," Browne wrote in a statement on her website after the rescue. "Only God is right all the time."

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In September, Browne posted this note on her Facebook page: "If you are afraid to die, you will not fully live." Then, on Oct. 27, she wrote her final message: "My one prayer every morning that has carried through my life is, 'Hi God, it's me again.' It doesn't matter how you pray. It can be just simply talking to God. Remember, God knows your heart and soul."

Browne passed away at 7:10 a.m. at Good Samaritan Hospital. No cause of death was given. According to her website, she is survived by her husband, Michael Ulery; sons Christopher and Paul Dufresne; three grandchildren, Angelia, Jeffrey, and William; and a sister, Sharon Bortolussi.

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