Internationally acclaimed author Toni Morrison, born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorain, Ohio on February 18, 1931, died Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She was 88 years old.
Morrison, best known for her novels depicting the African-American experience and easily recognized by the grey dreadlocks framing her face, published her first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” at age 40 after working as an editor for Random House.
In 1988, 48 black thinkers and writers published a statement in the New York Times criticizing the literary establishment for passing over black writers for major writing awards in spite of their extensive and critically acclaimed bodies of work. Two months after the publication, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for “Beloved,” which was later adapted into a film.
Shortly after in 1993, Morrison was the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. She was also presented with America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by then-President Barack Obama in 2012.