Harper Lee, the famed American author, has passed away, AL.com reports. Lee, 89, won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1961 bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee was a native of Monroeville, Alabama, where she grew up as one of four children. After attending the University of Alabama, Lee moved to New York in 1949 where she began writing Mockingbird while working as an airline reservations clerk during the day. In 1957, Lee submitted her manuscript for Mockingbird and on July 11, 1960, it was published and became one of the most widely-read novels of the 20th century. The details of Lee's unexpected death on the morning of Friday, Feb. 19 are scarce. However, Hank Conner, one of Lee's nephews, said that Lee passed away in her sleep at Meadows Assisted Living, The New York Times reports.
In 2007, Lee suffered a severe stroke that left her wheelchair-bound. Unable to care for herself, Lee sold her apartment in her Upper East Side neighborhood of New York and headed back home. She returned to Alabama, first to Birmingham and then to an assisted living center, Meadows, that was close to her childhood hometown in Monroeville. Lee spent the rest of her time in Alabama, from 2007 to her death in 2016. Although services for Lee have not yet been announced, family, friends, and fans all over are mourning the death of one of America's greatest novelists.
Below is a tribute video for Lee posted by AL.com.