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'To kill a mockingbird' author Harper Lee dies at 89

News Agencies | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:43 IST

Harper Lee, whose 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer prize, died at the age of 89, on Friday.

According to CNN, her death was confirmed by the City Hall in Monroeville, Alabama, where she lived.

Mockingbird, which became a classic of modern American literature, was inspired from elements of Lee's childhood in Alabama.

In the novel she describes how an impulsive girl, Scout Finch, her older brother Jem and their friend Dill get involved in the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape in Maycomb, Alabama.

The character of Atticus Finch, who is Scout's widower father achieved massive popularity as the fair-minded lawyer who defends the falsely accused Robinson in a racist courtroom, which set a standard for goodness and bravery.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see through it no matter what," Atticus says to Scout at one point in the novel.

Gregory Peck, who portrayed Atticus in the acclaimed 1962 movie, earned an Oscar for best actor.

Finch was named the greatest hero in movie history in a 2003 American Film Institute survey.


First published: 20 February 2016, 10:05 IST