US motivational author Stephen Covey dies, aged 79

US motivational guru Stephen Covey, author of international best-seller "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," died Monday at the age of 79, his company said.

Covey died from the effects of a bicycle accident he suffered in April, said a statement by consulting company FranklinCovey, of which he was a co-founder and former vice-chairman.

"In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each of his children and their spouses," it said.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" has sold more than 20 million copies in 40 languages throughout the world. In 2002 Forbes named it one of the 10 most influential management books ever written.

Other books by Covey, who in 1996 was named one of Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans, include "First Things First," "Principle-Centered Leadership," and "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families."

Covey started as a professor at Brigham Young University in Utah, but left full-time teaching in 1984 to set up the Covey Leadership Center, and went on to become an internationally-renowned author, speaker, and consultant.

He passed away "peacefully" in hospital in Idaho, "due to the residual effects of a bicycle accident he suffered this past April," the company statement said.

"We lost a dear friend today. Stephen was one of the world's great human beings. His impact is incalculable and his influence will continue to inspire generations to come," said FranklinCovey chairman Bob Whitman.