She studied law at the University of Alabama and spent a year at Oxford University in England as an exchange student.
Lee died peacefully Thursday, publisher HarperCollins said in a statement Friday.
We knew her as Nelle Harper Lee, a loving member of our family, a devoted friend to the many good people who touched her life, and a generous soul in our community and our state.
Why the secrecy? Lee was reportedly fearful of “To Kill A Mockingbird’s” success, feeling the pressure to create another text that lived up to one already deemed a classic. Harper Lee was very protective of the book being used in other media.
In a 1991 Library of Congress survey that looked at the books that have affected people’s lives, To Kill a Mockingbird was ranked second only to the Bible. “She was gregarious and friendly and outgoing”. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but, at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Though that may be true, the few who got to experience her wit and candor remember her with adoring admiration.
As a title, it struck me as a little too funny-the author’s name, however, left quite the impression: Harper Lee.
“I don’t ask her anything because she needs friends in her life who just let her be”, he said.
Lee did accompany Capote on trips to Kansas when he researched the book’s story of a murder and its aftermath, initially for a story in The New Yorker.
In any case, “Go Set a Watchman” was published and, along with “To Kill a Mockingbird” anchors a sizeable estate that should only grow as news of Lee’s death inspires more readers to buy her books.
“Like millions of others, I was saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Harper Lee, one of America’s most beloved authors”, he said.
“Harper Lee my 1st favorite author!” tweeted Oprah Winfrey. May she rest in peace.
To Kill A Mockingbird was made into a film in 1962. “‘The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience, ‘” said Tim Cook.
Her book put Monroeville on the world map, with many Lee fans visiting from across the globe.
Former newspaper reporter Connie Baggett says she knew Lee for years and found her to be friendly and chatty, as long as Lee knew the conversation wasn’t for an interview. “You don’t ever consider somebody like that passing, even though her legacy will last for generations after”.