BREAKING NEWS: Nobel laureate Toni Morrison has died

Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Toni Morrison, who wrote extensively about race, gender, and the Black American experience died in New York City at the age of 88 years old. Morrison’s work includes classics such as “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon.” In 1993, she became first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize.

Novelist Toni Morrison is presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama during an East Room event May 29, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)



The family of Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Toni Morrison has confirmed that she died Monday night at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center. She was 88 years old.

Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in 1931 in Lorain, Ohio, Morrison was the second of four children from a Black working-class family. She went on to study at both Howard and Cornell Universities and developed a career as one of the first Black women literary critics and editors for Random House. While there she was responsible for publishing works by Mohammed Ali and Angela Davis.

A voracious reader since her childhood, Morrison taught her passion and love of words and books at the collegiate level as a professor of writing and literature at Howard University, Yale University, and Princeton University.

READ MORE: New Documentary, “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” set to be released soon

Her first novel, The Bluest Eye was released in 1970, and Morrison went on to receive the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 for her novel, Beloved, which was adapted into a film that year, starring Oprah Winfrey.

Morrison, who enjoyed a 60-year career, is also internationally recognized for writing numerous critically acclaimed novels including Sula, Song of Solomon, and Jazz. She has written 11 novels in total as well as five children’s books. She was the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993.

In 2012, President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Novelist Toni Morrison is presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Most recently, a new documentary on her life was released. The film, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am focused on the legendary author’s career, highly acclaimed novels, and life, OprahMag reports.

The documentary also looks back on her childhood, her experience as an undergraduate student at Howard University, and much more.

The biopic, directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, offers fans a better understanding of Morrison’s perspective on topics such as racial identity, prejudice, and the “plight of Black Women.”

READ MORE: Oprah Winfrey praises Toni Morrison at Manhattan dinner gala

Her last novel, God Help the Child, was published in 2015.

Morrison’s family has not revealed her cause of death, but did say that she was suffering from a brief illness. The issued a statement which states:

“It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends. She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother, and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends. The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing. Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life.”

US Author and Nobel Prize in literature winner Toni Morrison receives the Honor Medal of The City of Paris (Grand Vermeil) at Mairie de Paris on November 4, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

“While we would like to thank everyone who knew and loved her, personally or through her work, for their support at this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we mourn this loss to our family. We will share information in the near future about how we will celebrate Toni’s incredible life.”

Robert Gottlieb from Knopf publishers, has worked with Morrison for years and said: “She was a great woman and a great writer, and I don’t know which I will miss more.”

Sonny Mehta, the chairman of Knopf, said: ” I can think of few writers in American letters who wrote with more humanity or with more love for language than Toni. Her narratives and mesmerising prose have made an indelible mark on our culture. Her novels command and demand our attention. They are canonical works, and more importantly, they are books that remain beloved by readers,” reports the BBC.

Hollywood is now responding to her passing with several Black actors expressing their sympathy and the impact that Morrison’s work had on their lives.