Bestselling author Harper Lee has died. She was 89 years old.
Lee’s iconic 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, has served as a definitive text on race in America. The Pulitzer Prize-winning title was Lee’s only book until last year, when Harper Collins published Go Set a Watchman, a Mockingbird sequel. The publication of her second book was rooted in controversy about whether Lee was present enough to approve its publication.
Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Ala. The daughter of a newspaper editor/lawyer, Lee studied law at the University of Alabama and spent a year as an exchange student at Oxford University, according to HarperLee.com. Six months before she would have graduated, she moved to New York to become a writer. She worked with Truman Capote as a research assistant on his classic non-fiction novel In Cold Blood.
After the success of Mockingbird, she returned to Monroeville, where she remained until her passing.
You can read the New York Times’ obit on Lee here.