Nobel Prize Winner Toni Morrison, One of America’s Greatest Writers, Has Died at 88
In describing the literary greatness of Toni Morrison—winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in literature, the first awarded to an African-American woman—the Nobel Foundation said that Morrison “in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.” She pursued and fulfilled that mission throughout her prodigious literary career. According to her publisher, Morrison died on Monday evening in a New York hospital, the Washington Post reports. She was 88 years old.
Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards confirmed her death but didn’t announce an immediate cause.
Born on Feb. 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio, Chloe Ardelia Wofford was the second oldest of four children born to George and Ramah Wofford, sharecroppers who had migrated north from Alabama. The couple raised their children in an integrated, working-class neighborhood. Morrison would later reportedly tell the New York Times, “When I was in first grade, nobody thought I was inferior. I was the only black in the class and the only child who could read.”