“To Kill a Mockingbird” author passes

Harper Lee, right, looks over her book To Kill a Mockingbird, with the star of the film, actor Gregory Peck, in 1962.

Harper Lee, right, looks over her book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” with the star of the film, actor Gregory Peck, in 1962.

Alexis Ponce, Reporter

American Literature lost a giant last month. At the age 89, Harper Lee passed away in her sleep of a stroke. Prior of her death, she lived in Monroeville, Alabama.

Nelle Harper Lee was an American novelist who was famous for the book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The book was published in 1960 and became a big hit immediately a year later; in 1961 the book won a Pulitzer Prize. This book became a classic of modern American literature. Even though Harper Lee only published one book, in 2007 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. With this book Lee had received numerous honorary degrees even though she doesn’t speak much about it. Recently Lee was back in the news again with  another book “Go Set a Watchman.” This book was originally written in the mid-1950s but wasn’t published until July 2015 as a “sequel”, but later confirmed to be the first draft to “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Born in 1928, Lee was raised the youngest out of four children of France’s Cunningham and Amasa Coleman Lee. Harper Lee was her pen name, her first name being Nelle, which was her grandma’s name  Ellen spelled backwards. Coming from humble beginnings, Lee’s mother was a homemaker and her  father was a former newspaper editor and proprietor. Lee discovered her interest in literature after graduating high school. Attending an all-female Huntington College after graduating college. She only attended this school for a year before she transferred to University of Alabama.