Celebrated American writer Harper Lee, best known for penning the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, has died at the age of 89.
Lee was born April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, the youngest of four
children of lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee.
As a child, Lee attended elementary school and high school just a few
blocks from her house on Alabama Avenue. In a March 1964 interview, she
offered this capsule view of her childhood: "I was born in a little
town called Monroeville, Alabama, on April 28, 1926. I went to school in
the local grammar school, went to high school there, and then went to
the University of Alabama. That's about it, as far as education goes."
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.
The film adaptation of the novel, with Mary Badham as Scout, opened on Christmas Day of 1962 and was an instant hit.
Harper Lee suffered a stroke in 2007, recovered and resumed her life
in the hometown where she spent many of her 89 years. A guardedly
private individual, Lee was respected and protected by residents of the
town that displays Mockingbird-themed murals and each year stages
theatrical productions of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Go Set a Watchman, the Sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, came out this past July. It also features Scout Finch, this time as an adult.