FILE - 19 FEBRUARY 2016: Pulitzer Prize winning author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee, 89, has reportedly died. WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 05: Pulitzer Prize winner and "To Kill A Mockingbird" author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, DC. The Medal of Freedom is given to those who have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors.
Harper Lee, renowned around the world for her iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ has died at the age of 89.
“It is with a heavy heart that we can confirm the passing of Ms. Harper Lee. Further details will be announced once available,” the town office of Monroeville, Alabama — Lee’s hometown — confirmed Friday in a brief statement.
The news of Lee‘s death comes just months after the release of the ‘Mockingbird’ sequel, titled ‘Go Set a Watchman’, which broke sales records and became a literary event.
Lee was born on April 26, 1926 to lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee, inspiring her now landmark character Atticus Finch in ‘Mockingbird’, which went on to sell over 10 million copies.
The youngest of four children, Lee spent her childhood and career close to home in her small town in Alabama, her elementary school just blocks away from her house.
“I was born in a little town called Monroeville, Alabama, on April 28, 1926,” she said in a 1964 interview. “I went to school in 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.”
“I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird,” she added. “I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers, but, at the same time I sort of hoped someone would like it well enough to give me encouragement.”
Lee, who suffered a serious stroke in 2007, rarely made public appearances.