It was confirmed today that Harper Lee, the popular author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” has died at the age of 89. The award-winning novelist had just recently published her long-awaited sequel, called “Go Set a Watchman”. The news of Lee’s passing was confirmed earlier today by a city representative from Monroeville, Alabama’s City Hall, which was also the birthplace of the popular author. The news was first reported by a local Alabama source at AL.com.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” was first published back in 1960, while the follow-up was released in July of 2015. Lee was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama where she spent most of her life. Lee did move to New York back in 1949 but it was in 1957 that Lee first sent her manuscript “To Kill a Mockingbird” to J.B. Lippincott & Co. The publisher famously told Lee that she would have to make major changes to the novel in order to have it published.
Lee is considered by many to be one of the greats of American literature and her novel has been a staple of early childhood-education reading lists for decades. The novel itself has been reprinted millions of times over.
A Pulitzer Prize winner, Lee took the award in 1961 but it wouldn’t be her last award. Lee was also honored by two presidents, first by President George W. Bush in 2007 when he gave her the Presidential Medal Of Freedom and she was honored again by President Barack Obama. President Obama awarded Lee the National Medal of Arts in 2010 for outstanding contribution to American Literature.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” was made into a movie back in 1962 . The film-adaptation wowed critics at the time and featured Gregory Peck. The film went on to win three Academy Awards. John Megna and Frank Overton starred alongside Peck in the film, which was directed by Robert Mulligan. Horton Foote wrote the screenplay based on Lee’s work at the time.