The literary world has lost a huge legend! Harper Lee, the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ has died. The beloved writer passed away in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama on Feb. 19. She was 89 years old.
The literary world is in mourning, because Harper Lee has passed away at the age of 89. The woman will forever be remembered as the writer who created Atticus Finch, Scout and Boo Radley in the iconic novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.
Harper died in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, at the age of 89. Mary Jackson, the city clerk, confirmed the passing of the legendary author to Reuters, reports The New York Post. At the moment, the cause of death is not known.
She was born and raised in Monroeville, attending elementary and high school just a stone’s throw away from her humble home on Alabama Avenue, according to AL.com. She summed up her upbringing in a 1964 interview, saying she went to “the local grammar school, went to high school there, and then went to the University of Alabama. That’s about it, as far as education goes.”
Harper didn’t need any more education to become an icon in the literary world. She moved to New York City in 1949, working as an airlines reservations clerk while writing in her spare time, according to Variety. She submitted her manuscript for To Kill A Mockingbird to J.B. Lippincott & Co. in 1957. After a revision, the novel was published in 1960 and was an instant critical and commercial success.
To Kill A Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961. The film adaptation, starring the late Hollywood legend, Gregory Peck, was released on Christmas Day in 1962. Despite all this success, Harper would not publish a second book until 55 years after her debut, when Go Set A Watchman was released in 2015. Though fans were grateful for a sequel to Mockingbird, they were not happy with the dramatic changes to their beloved characters.
Reverend Thomas Lane Butts, a family friend, told an Australian interviewer that Harper didn’t publish again because she didn’t want to deal with all the pressure and publicity that would follow. Harper was known as being a very private individual, living quietly in Alabama while turning down interview requests.
Harper shared a home with her older sister, lawyer Alice Lee. After suffering a stroke in 2007, and suffering failing vision, Harper moved to an assistant-living facility in her hometown. Though she published just two books, Harper leaves behind an incredible legacy and millions of fans.
Our thoughts are with Harper Lee’s family, friends and fans during this time of loss.