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Nora Ephron dead at 71

Author Nora Ephron attends the
Author Nora Ephron attends the "Julie & Julia" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on July 30, 2009 in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Nora Ephron, the acclaimed writer behind "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle," has died. She was 71. The Washington Post initially reported the news.

The cause was pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia, her son Jacob Bernstein told the New York Times.

Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A. Knopf confirmed to the Associated Press earlier Tuesday her very ill condition hours after celebrity columnist and friend Liz Smith published what appeared to be a memorial for the writer.

Smith told the Associated Press that she had spoken to Ephron's son Jacob on Tuesday morning and was told that Ephron was dying. She said when she heard that funeral plans had been arranged, she published the column on the website Women on the Web. The post was subsequently removed, creating some confusion on Tuesday.

"I was confused because I was told to come to the funeral on Thursday," Smith told the AP. "It's bad enough."

KPCC's Patt Morrison interviewed the influential Ephron in 2010:

She’s the writer behind When Harry Met Sally and Julie and Julia, but first she’s a woman. Writer/producer Nora Ephron follows up her last book I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman with I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections, which delves into the issues many women deal with – from daily duties and money to romance and divorce. Ms. Ephron gives readers a hilarious glimpse at her own upbringing, divorces, and life as a successful, yet normal, woman. LISTEN HERE

In an interview with NPR's Renee Montagne in November 2010, Ephron was wistful about the implications of aging.

"You do get to a certain point in life where you have to realistically, I think, understand that the days are getting shorter, and you can't put things off thinking you'll get to them someday," she said. "If you really want to do them, you better do them. There are simply too many people getting sick, and sooner or later you will. So I'm very much a believer in knowing what it is that you love doing so you can do a great deal of it."

Ephron, one of the most influential women in Hollywood, is also known for the book "Crazy Salad."