Harper Lee, who had won the esteemed ‘Pulitzer Prize’ for the fiction category in 1961 for her globally-renown book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has died at the age of 89, multiple sources in her hometown of Monroeville have confirmed this Friday morning.
Lee was born April 28, 1926, in Monroeville. She was the youngest of four children to lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee.
She moved to New York in 1949, where she worked as an airlines reservations clerk while pursuing a writing career. Eight years later, Lee submitted her manuscript for “To Kill a Mockingbird” to J.B. Lippincott & Co., which asked her to rewrite it. On July 11, 1960, Lee’s novel was published by Lippincott with critical and commercial success. The author won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction the following year on December 25, 1962 .
The film adaptation of the novel, with Mary Badham as Scout, opened on Christmas Day of 1962 and was an instant hit, remaining immensely prominent even today.
Her popular novella is often used for GCSE English studies in English students aged 15-16, and is recognised by many crticical authors as one of the greatest pieces of journalistic fiction ever produced.
Harper Lee suffered a stroke in 2007, recovered and resumed her life in the hometown where she spent many of her later years. Lee was respected and protected by residents of the town that displays Mockingbird-themed murals and each year staged theatrical productions of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”, clearly a town proud of their esteemed alumni.
She’d eat breakfast each morning at the same fast-food place, and could later be seen picking up Alice from the law firm founded by their father.
Tributes have already began to pour in, including John Green, Waterstones and Penguin Random House.
As of yet, services for her death have not yet been announced.
-Benjamin John Wareing