Harper Lee reportedly dead at 89

Nelle Harper Lee, the beloved Alabama author who won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has died at the age of 89, multiple sources in her hometown of Monroeville confirmed Friday morning.03-harper-lee-2.w750.h560.2x

The news was first reported on http://www.al.com, the Alabama website for several newspapers in the state, including Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile.

Lee was born April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, the youngest of four children of lawyer Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee.

» Photos: The life of Harper Lee

“To Kill a Mockingbird” focused on racial tensions in the South, involving the trial of a black man accused of molesting a white woman. The black man was defended by Atticus Finch, whose daughter and son were named Scout and Jem. Much of the book was believed to be autobiographical in nature.

It was adapted into a movie starring Gregory Peck as Finch, and went on to critical acclaim.

Lee’s health was recently the subject of much speculation after she agreed to the publication of “Go Set a Watchman,” a sequel to “Mockingbird” that was found in a vault and recast the original heroic lawyer, Atticus Finch, as possibly a racist.

Lee had a stroke in 2007 and recently moved into an assisted living facility after her older sister, Alice, died.

 


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