Ms. Campbell's interest in mental health was the catalyst for her first children's book, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, which was published in September 2003. This book won the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Outstanding Literature Award for 2003. The book tells the story of how a little girl copes with being reared by her mentally ill mother. Ms. Campbell was a member of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and a founding member of NAMI-Inglewood. Her latest book, 72 Hour Hold, also deals with mental illness.
Ms. Campbell's first play, "Even with the Madness," debuted in New York in June 2003. This work revisited the theme of mental illness and the family.
As a journalist Ms. Campbell wrote articles for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise, as well as other publications. She was a regular commentator for Morning Edition a program on National Public Radio.
Ms. Campbell was born and reared in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh. She lived in Los Angeles, California with her husband, Ellis Gordon Jr. and had a son, Ellis Gordon III and a daughter, actress Maia Campbell. She was an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorported.
Campbell died at the age of 56 from brain cancer. Her favorite quote on being a writer: "Discipline is the servant of inspiration."