Nobel Prize-winning author and icon Toni Morrison dead at 88

Kate Feldman

Toni Morrison, the iconic author known best for her 1987 novel “Beloved,” has died Monday, her publisher announced.

She was 88.

Morrison, widely acclaimed as one of the most celebrated American novelists, won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, the first novel in a trilogy about an enslaved black woman who escapes with her 2-year-old daughter. The novel was adapted into a movie in 1998, starring Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Thandie Newton.

Along a legendary career, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, making her the first black woman to win the award, the 1996 National Book Foundation’s Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letter and received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2012.

“We die,” Morrison said at the end of her Nobel Prize address. “That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

RELATED: Toni Morrison's novels through the years

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Her most recent book, “God Help the Child,” was published in 2015.

Morrison began her career as an editor for Random House and taught at Princeton from 1989 to 2006.