Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, dies

2016-02-19 18:09

Washington - Harper Lee, who wrote one of the 20th century's most famous US novels, To Kill a Mockingbird, has died at age 89, city officials in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, confirmed to dpa on Friday.

Lee took the book world by storm in 1960 when the book on racial injustice in Alabama was published, and then went on to win the highest accolade of American literature - the Pulitzer Prize.

Atticus Finch the powerful protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird was brought to life in the 1962 film by actor Gregory Peck, inspiring some fans to become lawyers and others to join the fight for civil rights or become teachers and social workers.

Finch stood tall for generations of American readers, lawyers and filmgoers as a rebel against the rampant racism of the US South in the 1930s.

Lee once declared that it would be her only novel. 

But last year, some 55 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, was published.

Lee completed Go Set a Watchman in the 1950s, but it was put aside until the manuscript was rediscovered by her friend and lawyer, Tonja Carter, at a "secure location" in the autumn of 2014, publishers HarperCollins said last year in a statement.

"After much thought and hesitation I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication," Lee said in that statement.

Lee, who still lived in Monroeville, had a stroke in 2007, but fully recovered from it, according to Al.com.

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