The author of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, has died at the age of 89, the mayor of her hometown has confirmed.
The best-selling 1960 book, which was adapted into the hugely popular film of the same name only two years later and starred Gregory Peck, is one of the most beloved novels in history; not only did it win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, it’s also sold more than 30 million copies the world over. The sequel, Go Set a Watchman, was only released last year.
Born in Monroeville, Alabama in 1926, Lee was always an intensely private person, rarely giving interviews and staying away from the media spotlight. The 1962 film To Kill A Mockingbird is held in similar high regard: a touchstone of 20th century cinema, it won Gregory Peck the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Atticus Finch, won what is now known as the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, and was also nominated for Best Picture.
Her agent, Andrew Nurnberg, said in his statement: ‘We have lost a great writer, a great friend and a beacon of integrity,’ while CEO of Apple Tim Cook tweeted ‘The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience’ – a line from Mockingbird.