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article image'To Kill a Mockingbird' author Harper Lee dies at 89

By Michael Thomas     Feb 19, 2016 in Entertainment
Monroeville - Harper Lee, author of the literary classic 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and its "sequel" released last year, 'Go Set a Watchman,' has died at the age of 89.
Her death was confirmed by her publisher, Harper Collins, as well as the mayor's office of Monroeville, Alabama, her hometown.
Born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28, 1926, she was the youngest of the four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee.
After pursuing higher education at the University of Alabama, she moved to New York in 1949. She worked as an airline reservation clerk before pursuing a writing career. She submitted the first manuscript of To Kill a Mockingbird in 1957 to J.B. Lippincott and Co., who asked for a rewrite. The novel was published in 1960, and became an instant sensation.
The semi-autobiographical story tells the tale of the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama — largely based on her hometown of Monroeville — when a black man is accused of raping a white woman. Atticus Finch agrees to represent the accused, with the story told from the viewpoint of his daughter, Scout.
In 1961, Lee received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and in 1962 it was adapted into a film starring Gregory Peck and Mary Beedham. The book has sold more than 40 million copies.
However, Lee had a thorny relationship with her celebrated work, and stopped giving interviews in 1964, says NBC News. She apparently made a few attempts at writing another novel but never ended up publishing a new work.
In 2007, a stroke forced Lee to move from New York City to an assisted living facility in her hometown of Monroeville, She stayed permanently to help out her sister, Alice, who was largely seen as a fierce protector of Lee's private life and work.
However, she made news in 2015 with the planned release of Go Set a Watchman, an unpublished work that acted somewhat like a sequel to Mockingbird. It became the fastest selling book in HarperCollins history.
Funeral services for Lee have not yet been announced.
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