Sylvia Browne, the psychic whose predictions made her a target of controversy in later years, died November 21 at the age of 77. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, young Sylvia from age three exhibited what were perceived as psychic powers that she shared with her family and friends. These talents led Browne to move to California and start up the Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research in 1964. Over the next decades Sylvia Browne claimed to have seen angels, ghosts and alien visitors, the last she said resembled humans except for an especially reflective quality in their eyes.
For seventeen years Browne was a weekly guest on the Montel Williams TV talk program and was heard often on radio shows such as "Coast to Coast AM with George Noory" (airs locally on WOR in New York). Twenty-two of the fifty books Browne wrote made it onto the New York Times Best Seller List. From such venues Browne predicted that Arnold Schwarzenegger would enter politics eleven years before the actor became California's governor. One year before Barack Obama's election, Browne stated that an African-American would become President of the United States within eight years
But two missteps during this century's first decade called Sylvia Browne's psychic abilities into question. In 2002, Browne told the parents of tweenage Missourian Shawn Holbeck that their son was dead. Four years later, Holbeck was found alive with his abductor. Also in 2004, Browne informed the mother of Cleveland's Amanda Berry that her daughter was dead. Years later, Berry and two other women were discovered in captivity. Ironically, Sylvia Browne's biggest error came in 2003 when to then-CNN talk host Larry King she predicted living to age 88.
Merrick Library has the following books by Sylvia Browne:
Life on the Other Side
The Other Side and Back
Past Lives, Future Healing
Prophecy: What the Future Holds for You
Secret Societies and How They Affect Our Lives Today
Secrets and Mysteries of the World
Sylvia Browne's Book of Angels
Sylvia Browne's Book of Dreams
The Truth About Psychics
Visits From the Afterlife (large print)