Author & Cultural Icon Toni Morrison Dies at 88

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Toni Morrison, the legendary author and poet, died August 5, 2019. She was 88 years old. Many, if not most people are familiar with her works that include "Beloved", which was made into a film starring Oprah Winfrey, Thandi Newton and Danny Glover. But her creative works span over 60 years. She won the the Pulitzer Prize for 'Beloved', and Nobel Prize for Literature for her work, making her the first African American woman to be selected for the award. Among her best-known novels are 'The Bluest Eye,' 'Song of Solomon,' 'Beloved' and 'A Mercy.' Her novels are known for their epic themes, exquisite language and richly detailed African American characters who are central to their narratives.

Toni Morrison was born on February 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio. Morrison attended Howard University to pursue her interest in literature, where she majored in English. After graduating from Howard in 1953, Morrison continued her education at Cornell University, and completed her master's degree in 1955. She then moved to the Texas to teach at Texas Southern University.

In 1957, Morrison returned to Howard University to teach English. There she met Harold Morrison, an architect originally from Jamaica. The couple married in 1958 and had their first child, Harold, in 1961. After the birth of her son, Morrison joined a writers group that met on campus. She began working on her first novel with the group, which started out as a short story.

Morrison decided to leave Howard University in 1963. The following year, she moved with her sons to Syracuse, New York, where she worked for a textbook publisher as a senior editor. Morrison later went to work for Random House, where she edited works by Toni Cade Bambara and Gayl Jones, renowned for their literary fiction, as well as luminaries like Angela Davis and Muhammad Ali.

Morrison later became a professor at Princeton University in 1989. Morrison would go on to create more iconic books, poems, plays and essays until her passing. She was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama. More information on her life and work coming soon...