TORONTO — Self-described psychic Sylvia Browne, a bestselling author and popular personality on TV talk shows, died Wednesday morning. She was 77.
Browne passed away at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California. A cause of death was not immediately made public.
Born in Kansas City, she claimed to have started seeing visions when she was a child. She founded the Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research in 1974 and went on to make millions with her business ventures, including dozens of books.
Browne appeared regularly on shows like Larry King Live and The Montel Williams Show.
In 1992 she pleaded guilty to securities fraud and was sentenced to one year of probation and 200 hours of community service.
Browne was widely criticized for making predictions, particularly about victims of crime, that turned out to be false. In 2001 she accepted a $1 million challenge from the James Randi Educational Foundation to prove her psychic abilities in a controlled scientific study but then put it off for years.
In 2007, her manager told CNN that Browne would not take the challenge because she has “nothing to prove” to James Randi.
Browne also did not accurately predict her death. In a 2003 interview with Larry King, she said she would die at 88.
Browne was scheduled to host a psychic cruise in the Caribbean next March.
She is survived by her fourth husband Michael Ulery, two sons, three grandchildren and a sister.
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