Richard Carlson, best selling author, beloved husband, cherished father, and loving son died suddenly on December 13 of a pulmonary embolism resulting in cardiac arrest while enroute to New York.  He was 45.

Like the message in his books, the focus of Dr. Carlson’s life was on gratitude, generosity and kindness. He embodied those traits in everything he did, becoming a dear friend to everyone who knew and worked with him.

Dr. Carlson was the author of 30 books including the phenomenally successfulDon’t Sweat the Small Stuff series and the just published Don’t Get Scrooged. His books have been published in 135 countries and translated into more than 30 different languages.

His daily meditation and commitment to inner and outer peace were manifest not only in his books, but also in his calm and focused presence. He was at ease with life, and shared that sense of contentment even while acknowledging and working to solve the world’s myriad problems.

“Richard was a unique and inspiring friend,” according to his former agent Patti Breitman. “He taught me the value of being present for my own life, and encouraged me – and millions of others – to pay attention to what is truly important and what endures.”

Richard Carlson was born on May 16, 1961 and grew up in Piedmont, CA. He received his undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University, his Ph.D. in psychology from Sierra University and received an honorary degree in law from Pepperdine University. He was in private practice as a psychotherapist when he started to publish books about psychological and spiritual health. When his books started to attract a large audience, he began writing full time so he could teach more people how to be more fully present for their lives.

Dr. Carlson was a large supporter of and participant in the National Center for Family Literacy. At the time of his death he was working on a project with them calling for "A Penny a Book" from publishers, authors and literary agents to promote literacy.

Dr. Carlson is survived by his wife and life partner of 25 years, Kris Carlson, his co-author on Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love and the author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women, his loving daughters Jasmine and Kenna, sisters, Kathleen Carlson Mowris of Olympic Village, CA and Anna L. Carlson of La Selva Beach, CA, and his parents, Barbara and Don Carlson of Orinda, CA.

A private memorial service will be held next week. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in Richard’s honor to local food banks, Challenge DayGirls Inc. orChildren's Inc.