LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Self-help guru Wayne Dyer, who died Saturday night at his home in Maui, Hawaii, often talked about how his tough Detroit childhood helped hone his character and philosophy that a person’s thoughts could be life-changing.

His father had abandoned the family, Dyer said, and he had to spend time in foster homes as a youth.

“I was a kid who was falling through the cracks,” the psychologist/author told the Detroit News in the early ‘90s. But, he added, “Every experience has got something great to teach you. Everybody has tough things thrown at them, everybody has their excuses for why their life isn't working. But all it is is an excuse.”

Dyer’s death, after he’d battled leukemia since 2009, was announced on his Facebook fan page by his family.

“Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night. He always said he couldn't wait for this next adventure to begin and had no fear of dying. Our hearts are broken, but we smile to think of how much our scurvy elephant will enjoy the other side. We Love You Forever Dad/Wayne. -- The Dyer Family.”

A 1958 graduate of Detroit’s Denby High School, Dyer recalled it as a crowded school with huge classes and what he saw as burned-out teachers.

After graduating from high school, Dyer earned a doctorate in educational counseling from Wayne State University and taught at Detroit Pershing and later at St. John’s University in New York.

The publication of his book “Your Erroneous Zones” in 1976 catapulted Dyer into instant fame, as he became one of the avatars of the burgeoning self-improvement movement. He wrote some 30 self-help books in all, and hosted many PBS shows.

Dyer was embraced by Hollywood, officiated at the 2008 nuptials of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and was a frequent guest on Oprah Winfrey’s show.

Winfrey tweeted: “It was always a pleasure to talk to @DrWayneWDyer about life’s big questions. He always had big answers. RIP Wayne. You brought the Light.”

Separated from his third wife Marceline, Dyer had eight children.

swhitall@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/swhitall

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://detne.ws/1EwzBRY