The trailblazing author Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Pulitzer Prize, died Monday night at the age of 88 at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, according to her publisher, Penguin Random House.
“She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother, and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends. The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing,” Morrison’s family said in a statement.
“Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life,” they added. “While we would like to thank everyone who knew and loved her, personally or through her work, for their support at this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we mourn this loss to our family.”
Morrison was the first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, awarded in 1993. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her novel “Beloved” won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988. Her first book was “The Bluest Eye” published in 1970.