Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison has died at the age of eighty-eight. Her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, confirmed that the author had passed away after a short illness.
Known for award-winning and critically acclaimed works such as Beloved, Jazz, Paradise and God Help the Child, Morrison was the first female African-American editor at Random House and helped pave the way for other African American writers in the publishing industry.
According to Deadline, her family released this statement:
“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.
“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.”
In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.