The first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Toni Morrison has died at the age of 88 following a brief illness.
Her death was confirmed by her family in a statement on Tuesday.
Morrison was born in Ohio on February 18, 1931. She died at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York on Monday.
“It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends,” they said.
“Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well-lived life,” the statement added, describing her as “the consummate writer who treasured the written word.”
Morrison wrote 11 novels, many of them touching on life as a black American. In 1998, she won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for her 1987 novel “Beloved”.
Morrison was later to be awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. In 2012, Former US President, Barack Obama, presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.