Every adventure has to end sometime: R.A. Montgomery, the author and publisher who launched the Choose Your Own Adventure series that got a generation of '80s kids hooked on reading, died Sunday at his home in Vermont. He was 78. A cause of death hasn't been made public.
Montgomery created Choose Your Own Adventure in 1977 when he spun Edward Packard's interactive kids' story, Sugarcane Island, into a concept for an entire series. He started publishing the books with Bantam 2 years later.
The series has now expanded to 230 books, selling a total of 250 million copies worldwide. Although Montgomery eventually brought on other writers, he initially split the CYOA writing duties evenly with Packard. Starting with book #2, Journey Under the Sea, he went on to write more than 50 books for Choose Your Own Adventure and its various spinoffs.
In 2003, Montgomery founded a company called ChooseCo to revive the series and reprint several of the original adventures. His final book, Gus vs. the Robot King, about a kid who's jealous of a robot sidekick, came out in September.
He's survived by his wife, co-author and ChooseCo cofounder, Shannon Gilligan.