Pat Conroy, Author of 'Prince of Tides,' Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer

PHOTO:Author Pat Conroy is interviewed by Walter Edgar at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, S.C. Feb. 27, 2014. Jeff Blake/Newscom
Author Pat Conroy is interviewed by Walter Edgar at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, S.C. Feb. 27, 2014.

Pat Conroy, the bestselling author of "The Prince of Tides" and "The Great Santini," has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his publisher said today.

"Pat is currently undergoing treatment at M.D. Anderson, where he is receiving excellent care and support from his doctors," Doubleday publishers said in a statement. "The Conroy family asks for privacy at this time as Pat fights this challenging illness with the same spirit of courage that has forged his writing career. Pat and his family are enormously grateful to all of his readers for their prayers and good wishes.“

Like "The Great Santini" and "The Prince of Tides," most of Conroy's 11 books have been novels, many closely or loosely based on his own life, but he also wrote the memoir "My Losing Season," in which he revisited his basketball team's losing season (1966-67) at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C.

In an interview on "Good Morning America" when the book came out, Conroy said he remembers his team's losing season as the happiest year of his life. Being part of a dysfunctional team, he recalled, was a welcome respite from The Citadel's typical plebe-system routine.

In another memoir "The Death of Santini," he examined his difficult relationship with his father, and told "GMA" anchor Charlie Gibson that his focus on the family he grew up in "might be my great weakness as a writer. ... Or my great strength."

Conroy's other books include "The Boo," "The Water is Wide," "The Lords of Discipline," "Beach Music," "The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life," "South of Broad" and "My Reading Life."

His books have sold more than 5 million copies in the United States alone.