- Public Domain/White House/Pete Souza
- Toni Morrison chats with former President Barack Obama after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Morrison was the author of 11 novels alongside a collection of children's books and essays. She was a titan in the literary world, winning numerous prizes throughout her career, including a Pulitzer for her book Beloved in 1988.
Morrison also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama in 2012.
She was also one of the few authors who received both critical and commercial success. Her works are often set in small Midwestern towns and absent of white characters, a rarity in American literature.
Her works often avoided stereotyped settings for Black characters.
"It is neither plantation nor ghetto," she said in a 1994 interview.
Morrison is survived by her son Harold. Her other son, Slade, died in 2010 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.