Harper Lee, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Author, Dies at 89

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MONROEVILLE, Ala. — Harper Lee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 for her book To Kill a Mockingbird has died at the age of 89.

The news, first reported by AL.com, was confirmed by HarperCollins Publishers. Monroeville Mayor Mike Kennedy also confirmed the news to WHNT.

Spencer Madrie, an employee at Ol’ Curiosities & Book Shoppe in Monroeville, said friends would come into the book shop frequently and purchase books for Lee, who was living at a local nursing home.

Madrie said he was told Lee passed away around 4 a.m. Friday morning.

The nursing home where Lee lived said they are not issuing a statement at this time.

Born Nelle Harper Lee in 1926 in Monroeville, Lee went by her first name in her private life, using Harper Lee as her pen name.

Lee was quoted saying this in Newsquist in 1964:

“I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but, at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.”