Harper Lee, author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, passes away

Miami: American author Harper Lee, famous for the literary classic ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and for shunning the fame it brought her, has died at the age of 89.

The news was confirmed by the mayor’s office in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.


A spokeswoman for Monroeville, Alabama, where Lee spent her final years living in seclusion, confirmed local media reports of her death, saying: “She did pass away.”

Harper LeeThis file photo taken on November 05, 2007 shows then US President George W. Bush presenting the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom to “To Kill A Mockingbird” novelist Harper Lee in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Pic/AFP

The novelist, who was born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28, 1926, published ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ in 1960. The novel was a huge critical and commercial success and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Lee’s 1960 novel, which earned her a Pulitzer Prize, came to define racial injustice in the Depression-era South and became standard reading in classrooms across the world. 

The sequel to the classic, ‘Go Set a Watchman’, was published in 2015.

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. The novel which was published on July 11, 1960, has never been out of print.

Rated as a classic of modern American literature, the book, famous for its warmth and humour, deals with the serious issue of rape and racial inequality.

To Kill A Mockingbird

The book is based on Lee’s observations of her family and friends, and on an event that happened near her hometown in 1936 when she was 10 years old.

The novel was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. 

Despite being Lee’s only published novel till last year, she refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964.

The author Malorie Blackman posted “Harper Lee R.I.P.” on her Twitter account.

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted: “Rest in peace, Harper Lee. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”