March 2, 2015 / 6:25 PM / 5 years ago

'Millionaire Next Door' author dies in car crash near Atlanta

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Thomas J. Stanley, author of the best-selling book, “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy,” has died in a car crash near his home in suburban Atlanta, police said on Monday. He was 71.

Stanley, whose series of books on millionaires helped define a generation of wealthy people in America, was killed Saturday afternoon when a car slammed into his vehicle near his home in Marietta, Georgia, about 20 miles north of Atlanta, Cobb County police Sergeant Dana Pierce said.

A retired marketing professor at Georgia State University, Stanley used his research to debunk notions that most self-made millionaires are flashy big spenders.

His 1996 book, “The Millionaire Next Door,” co-written with William D. Danko, described them as penny pinchers and is still recommended as a go-to book for personal financial advice.

His other books included “The Millionaire Mind” and “Millionaire Women Next Door.”

Thomas took the study of millionaires as serious work. In 1980, he conducted the first national survey of America’s millionaires, according to his website, and he was a sought-after speaker and author of more than 40 published articles on the affluent.

At the time of his death, he was working with his daughter, Sarah Fallaw, on an updated book about millionaires and the new gilded age in America, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.

The funeral home handling Stanley’s arrangements said services are planned for Thursday.

Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Karen Brooks and Susan Heavey

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