2019-08-06

Olga Besnard/Shutterstock.com
  • Faith: Christian - Catholic
  • Career: Author
  • Birthday:  February 18, 1931
  • Accomplishments:  Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize
  • Fun Faith Fact!: Oprah Winfrey selected a total of four of Morrison's novels over six years for her popular Book Club, giving Morrison's novels a bigger sales boost than they got from her Nobel Prize win in 1993.

Toni Morrison (born Chole Ardelia Wofford) was born on February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. She was an award winning novelist who played a vital role in bringing black literature into mainstream America. In 1987, Morrison published her most celebrated novel, Beloved, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction among several other awards. The book was later made into a film staring Oprah Winfrey. Morrison placed African Americans, particularly women, at the heart of her writing at a time when they were largely relegated to the margins both in literature and in life. Former President Barack Obama described her as “one of our nation’s most distinguished storytellers,” after awarding her with the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Media of Freedom.

In 2010, her son, Slade, died at 45 of pancreatic cancer, and for a time Morrison stopped working. When asked on “Oprah” about his death and how she might find “closure,” she rejected the idea as “some kind of insult.” She ultimately found solace in her memories, and like so many of her characters she welcomed the ghosts into her life. Morrison died on August 6, 2019.

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