A family spokeswoman says Ford died Sunday in her home after a long battle with cancer.
"The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" spawned a self-help enterprise for Ford. The 1998 book aimed to help readers overcome their darker side.
Here's how a Barnes & Noble review described Ford's book:
"Although we don’t usually admit it, this desire to fix ourselves rests on the belief that right now, as we are, we’re “broken.” The anger we have trouble controlling, the shame we feel when we try to sell our services, and so on are “wrong,” and our self-improvement journey is supposed to make things the way they “should be.” In a sense, our personal development quest often grows out of our dislike for ourselves.
Debbie Ford’s discovery of this feeling in herself, and how she changed her perspective, gave rise to The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. Debbie’s personal growth journey started when she decided to overcome her drug addiction. For several years, she went to spiritual retreats, took transformational workshops, and read personal development books.
In the process, Debbie let go of her addiction, and also changed many of her relationships and values. There was just one nagging problem—as Debbie puts it, “I still hated myself.” Debbie still saw herself as full of flaws she needed to “get rid of,” and it hurt to feel that way."
Debbie Ford's sister, Arielle, said in a statement that the author wanted to help people break free from their emotional baggage and fear.
"Her legacy and work will live on through the programs she developed and through her loving and devoted staff at The Ford Institute for Transformational Training.
Debbie was also a giver. Her generosity is legendary and one of her proudest accomplishments was assisting Beau with his Bar Mitzvah project to build a school in rural Uganda. Through her Collective Heart Foundation in partnership with the Just Like My Child Foundation, several important programs to help women and children are now thriving including a Girl Power project. You can support this by visiting www.TheCollectiveHeart.org."
Ford wrote eight more books, led workshops and hosted TV and radio shows related to that topic. She often shared her battle with drug addiction, divorce and other personal struggles in her work.
She is also survived by her mother, son and brother.