Harper Lee Has Died at 89

Christy Bowe/ZUMA


Harper Lee, the iconic author of To Kill a Mockingbird, has died at the age of 89. Lee’s death was confirmed by a city clerk in Monroeville, Alabama, the New York Times reports. The mayor of Monroeville also confirmed the news.

To Kill a Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961.

In 2015, more than five decades after To Kill a Mockingbird was published, her second novel, titled Go Set a Watchman, was released, after a 304-page manuscript following up on the classic was discovered.

“I was born in a little town called Monroeville, Alabama, on April 28, 1926,” she said in an interview in 1964. “I went to school in the local grammar school, went to high school there, and then went to the University of Alabama. That’s about it, as far as education goes.”

Reflecting on the overwhelming success of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee said in a 1964 radio interview that she never expected it and instead had hoped the book would be well received enough to inspire her to write more. “I got rather a whole lot [of encouragement], and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.”

This is a breaking news post. We will update soon as more information becomes available.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate