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Three Cups of Tea Author’s Death, Suicide

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David Oliver Relin, 49, who co-authored the best-selling book Three Cups of Tea with Greg Mortenson, committed suicide on November 15 in Multnomah County, Oregon. Cause of death was originally withheld but has been confirmed as suicide. Relin was reportedly depressed by criticism that Three Cups of Tea, a book about private efforts to build schools for girls in Central Asia, was grossly fabricated. That claim was made by author Jon Krakauer in a “60 Minutes” segment that aired in 2011, and, soon after, in his book Three Cups of Deceit. 

Krakauer’s allegations prompted several lawsuits by people who had purchased the book, claiming they had been defrauded. The cases were combined and ultimately dismissed in a Montana court, where it is pending appeal.