Toni Morrison, the cherished Pulitzer Prize–winning author, has passed away at age 88, according to USA Today.
Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio, on February 18, 1931. At age 14, she fell in love with reading whilst helping her sister at the local library. After high school, she attended Howard University, where she changed her name. In a later part of her life, Morrison became a Random House book editor.
In early ’60s, Morrison began writing. Her first book, The Bluest Eye, wasn’t published until 1970. Sula, Song of Solomon, and Tar Baby soon followed. Her award-winning “masterpiece,” Beloved, a Pulitzer Prize winner & a book made into a film a decade later, was released in 1987.
In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, with the committee noting that Morrison “gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.” The author was also given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2012, the highest honor for any civilian.
According to her family, after a short illness Morrison passed away Monday, August 5, among family and friends in New York. Morrison’s writing captured the African American experience, which often included supernatural elements of black folklore and she will be missed.