Nobel laureate Toni Morrison has died after a brief illness, her family confirmed on Tuesday. The trailblazing novelist who pioneered modern literature with her works, such as "Beloved," and "Song of Solomon", was 88.

"Toni Morrison passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends," the family announced in a statement. "She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother, and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends. The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing."

Publisher Alfred A. Knopf said Morrison died late Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

Morrison was nearly 40 years old when her first novel, "The Bluest Eye," was published. She became the first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize. In 1998, she won the Pulitzer Prize for "Beloved", and in 2019 she was featured in an acclaimed documentary, "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am."

Morrison's other works included "Dreaming Emmet," a play about the slain teenager Emmett Till.

She was often compared to the late poet Maya Angelou. Both women expressed the very real experiences of Black Americans in their prose.

"Maya Angelou helped me without her knowing it," Morrison told The Associated Press during a 1998 interview. "When she was writing her first book, 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,' I was an editor at Random House. She was having such a good time, and she never said, 'Who me? My little book?'"

Morrison was adored and celebrated by the working man to the Black 1%. Barack Obama awarded her a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Oprah Winfrey, who idolized Morrison, described one of her novels, "Love," as "perfect"

In November 2016, Morrison wrote a New York essay about the election of Donald Trump, calling his stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton a sign of white fright and desperation to hold on to their status.

"So scary are the consequences of a collapse of white privilege that many Americans have flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless as strength. These people are not so much angry as terrified, with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble," she wrote.

Photos by Getty Images, FilmMagic

  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    RIP beloved.

  • tintin

    "New York essay about the election of Donald Trump, calling his stunning
    defeat of Hillary Clinton a sign of white fright and desperation to hold
    on to their status" AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH!!

    R.I.P Toni.

  • Guest

    So true.

  • Guest

    R.I.P Ms. Morrison. You will be missed.

  • Seldomseen

    Fly high ma’am.

  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs


  • iWasteTime

    We still read Peeny Butter Fudge!

  • Jesse

    ?R.I.P Ms. Morrison?

  • SugarFoot a.k.a Ty

    Rest Beloved!!!

  • ClaireHuxtable

    We've lost a treasure. The Bluest Eye is still one of my favorite books after all these years.
    P.S. She's right about their terrified knees trembling.

  • Kanyade

    RIP. I said in another post, Beloved changed my life and Sula gave me wings.

  • Vonda K

    Thank you for blessing us with your amazing gift of storytelling. I fell in love with writing and reading after reading your ? books.

  • Vonda K

    Song of Solomon

  • Yardgirl

    I just saw this! RIP Queen????

  • Trentaye

    Toni was one of the GREATEST black literary voices of our time. She died and now we're left with the likes of A$AP and Sh!t Hop music.

  • Dontgetdraggedhoe??

    One of my favorites.
    The bluest eye, sula, home, God bless the child, jazz, love.....
    Thank you Toni.

  • KarmaBackAround

    This was a powerful woman! I am blessed to have experience ms morrison several times n my life.. favorite quote will always be "You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down". R.I.P Queen!

  • Fire & Ice

    Rip ?

  • Panther Charleston


  • TriniHarlem

    Rest in power Queen. Your job here is well done. Thankh you! ?

  • Ghetto Real Name

    "The Bluest Eye" changed my life as an early teen and shaped the rest of it from then on. My first brother in law who is also from Lorain, OH just like she was and the book is set, gave it to me the summer in between 7th and 8th grade when I was there visiting. I thank her immensely for those words, and cant ever thank her enough. RIP Ms. Morrison

  • hottlanta

    Sula is my fav book. Gurl how u gonna mess with your best friend ole man. Scandal way before facebook.

  • Nik

    An icon. RIP.?

  • Nik

    The Bluest Eye is my favorite.

  • Marlika

    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never ready any of her books.? I’ve always wanted to read The Bluest Eye, but not found interest in it. I remember when the film BELOVED came out, the movie was so ? I could never finish it.

  • Kanyade

    "And like an artist with no art form, she became dangerous."

  • Nik

    The Bluest Eye is mine, too.

  • Li-Wright

    Not to belittle her accomplishments, but only one book was made into a movie, far as I recall. (as compared to Steven King) I read her 1st two books in school....I couldn't get through the first chapter of the 3rd book and I had to put Toni down because she became too hard for me to read.

  • Nik

    That quote is everything!

  • Solstice

    Talented woman!! I have many of her books. She will be missed. ??

  • Nik

    Her books take us to a whole other world. No one writes like her. And it seems a lot of good, artistic talent comes out of Ohio.

  • Nik

    I'm reading Paradise now.

  • Renee26

    RIP Queen

  • Solstice

    I too have found some of her books challenging to read at times . Once you’re into it though, it goes by. I can’t watch nor read Beloved though. I tried and it ain’t for me Marlika ??

  • Bushbabe

    I have read everyone of her books and they are well written yet haunting. Well be dusting off my collection. RIP Toni.

  • ClaireHuxtable

    I like to say that everybody who became famous was trying to escape Ohio's cold l0l!

  • Nik

    Her writing is very intricate. She uses a lot of flashback and you have to pick up on little things to get the big picture. I'm reading Paradise now and I have to take my time with it. Her books aren't commercial material, which is sometimes a good thing.

  • Nik

    The Bluest Eye is worth it, trust me.

  • Whiplash(lacejagger)

    I read Bluest Eye the first year that I attended Clark Atlanta... very deep! RIP

  • Nik

    LOL!! They said, "Let me get the hell out of Ohio or BUST!""???

  • Madashelle

    Oh wow. Sad to hear this.

  • Kanyade

    Very post-modern her works are. She was inspired by William Faulkner and his stuff is hard, too; very post-modern, as well.

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Wow...My Heart...R.I.P. Queen.... Lord I didn't want any bad news today...

  • Ghetto Real Name

    A lot of authors dont want their works to become movies. Its always a little lost in translation

  • ClaireHuxtable

    Ohio players, Levert, Halle Berry, Arsenio Hall, Isley Brothers, O'Jays, Steve Harvey, Roger Troutman & Zapp...I'm forgetting a whole lotta people.

  • Nik

    Deniece Williams, Vesta, Bootsy Collins

  • Roderick2011

    "You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down"
    Now someone email that quote to Monique asap!!!

  • ClaireHuxtable

    LA Reid, Katt Williams, Tracy Chapman, John Legend...

  • Nik

    That's one to chew one! Love it!

  • Nik

    Dang! Let me find out Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, too. LOL! Ohio got the talent game on lock!

  • KarmaBackAround


  • KarmaBackAround

    I loved her! My mother was a "super fan"

  • ClaireHuxtable


  • Karen Brady

    Rest in peace Lady Morrison and thank you for all of your beautiful works

  • Kayke

    Tar Baby was my first experience with Toni Morrison... RIP queen and thank you for sharing your gift.

  • Yardgirl

    All of this!!!

  • KcoolMuziq
  • Bree

    Rest peacefully Queen

  • PrettyMeka08

    The Bluest Eye

  • Lady_Elle

    Rest in Peace... Job well done here on earth!

  • Scorpio

    RIP Ms. Morrison. Her documentary. Toni Morrison, Piecies I am, is a must see. One of the best documentary films ever, so inspiring. Also, love her interview with Charlie Rose from the 90's, where she expresses her thoughts on what White people need to do about racism. "Leave me out of it." she says. She will be missed.

  • TransMichelle

    Too bad she died in delusion. She allegedly said "So scary are the consequences of a collapse of white privilege" yet, She became the first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize. In 1998, she won the Pulitzer Prize as well. All given by whites, so I guess she had "black privilege?" OK...Toni...RIP. I"m out....!

  • Vonn

    I love you Toni!! Rest in power. ?

  • hottlanta

    She even has childrens books. Got some for grandhots n he loves them.

  • hottlanta

    Thanks for the info. I remember that interview with Charlie rose.

  • Myopinion

    Rest in Power Auntie

  • Rhyme and Reason

    R.I.P.! Ms. Morrison has crossed over! She shared so much, I love Toni Morrison, her life and work is eternal.

    She taught the value of stopping what I’m doing, and looking my child, any child in the face, making eye contact, when they enter the room, and what it does for their soul. She was so right, enchanting!

    We live busy lives, but we can feed our souls by truly taking a moment to fully engage!

    Toni Morrison Quote:

    “True the Black woman did the housework, the drudgery; true, she reared the children, often alone, but she did all of that while occupying a place on the job market, a place her mate could not get or which his pride would not let him accept.

    And she had nothing to fall back on: not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything. And out of the profound desolation of her reality she may very well have invented herself.”

  • taneka simmons

    RIP beautiful soul. Thanks for sharing your timeless gift with the world. Peace and blessings to your family.

  • Pamela

    Unbelievable! I was just thinking of William Faulker a few hours ago after learning of Ms Toni passing. I love his short stories, especially Go Down Moses. At least something good came out of Mississippi; William Faulkner.

  • Pamela

    CAU Alumnus here. Ms Toni work is amazing. May she RIP.

  • Whiplash(lacejagger)

    Hello fellow Clarkite.

  • Willette Capers

    I did my master's thesis on Faulkner. His writing was also incredible.

  • Willette Capers

    I did my master's thesis on Faulkner. His writing was also incredible.

  • SaltineCrackers

    Rest In Power Queen!!


    Ms. Morrison, thank you for your great heart, bravery and great works. Rest Queen.

  • morenYAHdelsur

    Rest easy and peacefully. You’ll be missed yet your works will live on. Ashe and amen to a real one ?

  • hottlanta

    Another one here. Lilhots is a cau baby herself.

  • currvalicious

    I'm learning a lot about Toni just by reading you all's posts. Thanks for the education. I see there are plenty literary connoisseurs here & it's quite refreshing. Rest in eternal peace Ms. Morrison.

  • Anji

    Your words both Stark and lovely smoothed my path from adolescence to adulthood. Go in peace Queen

  • Alicia.Ashe

    You’re an idiot

  • TransMichelle

    No...I'm honest and truthful. You're delusional and can't handle my post so don't bother replying save yourself the embarrassment....!

  • Marlika

    Yeah that movie is too much for me.?

  • pure_rachet

    RIP! The sole reason I got my English degree.

  • pure_rachet

    RIP! The sole reason I got my English degree.

  • Renee

    I discerned last year, this was near. One of my favorite Laureates! ??

  • Miss Thang

    She always reminded me of a lioness. So powerful yet graceful and nurturing to the younger generations. Rest well, and thank you for everything, Ms. Morrison.

  • Miss Thang

    Heck no they ain’t commercial material. Need to put my scholarly hat on before I start reading one of her books ? it’s definitely not a carefree read. Gotta pay careful attention or I get lost.

  • Miss Thang

    The Bluest Eye was mandatory for our 10th grade summer reading.

  • Chicagowise

    It's amazing how certain people are frozen in time in your mind. I had no idea she was that old

  • Nik

    That's why Beloved wasn't successful in theaters. People didn't get it. Morrison tends to err on the side of the metaphysical at times, which I love.

  • Hazel

    She will be greatly missed....
    Serious question....Am I the only Northerner that mispronounced be-loved instead of be-lov-ed before the movie was released in 1987? I don't think I had ever heard the word spoken until then...smh at the miseducation of the Northern Negro.?

  • dontgetblocked

    A true literary legend!

  • Eileen

    Bless her family...

  • Whiplash(lacejagger)


  • DroneRivers

    A lot lost in translation, imo. The book is always, always, always better than the movie!

  • Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    Yeah, my hardback copy of Beloved is still pretty much in mint condition, even after all these years, because I couldn't get beyond a few pages - my soul was troubled, Lol!

    Sula is one of my favs. RIP Sister Toni.?

  • Chapter29Chick

    I was just thinking about that movie Beloved this morning. Had no idea that she had just passed. That movie scared me so much as a little girl, I didn’t want 2 go to sleep after watching it ??

  • Coker Sheila

    Have you read any of her books? Authors like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni are required reading in my household because they are not required reading the American schools
    I would also goggle an article written in the 70s called "The Browning of America" for you to get a better understanding of what is happening in America today. The writer saw that America in the future was becoming increasing brown i.e. people of color and the implications of that. It a very good read.