Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison (February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019), known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved ; she gained worldwide recognition when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. In 2020, Morrison was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
About Toni Morrison in brief
Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison (February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019), known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved ; she gained worldwide recognition when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. In 2020, Morrison was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Her parents instilled in her a sense of heritage and language through telling traditional African-American folktales, ghost stories, and singing songs. When Morrison was about two years old, her family’s landlord set fire to the house in which they lived, because her parents couldn’t afford to pay rent. She became a Catholic at the age of 12 and took the baptismal name Anthony, which led to her nickname, Toni. In 1949, she enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D. C., seeking the company of fellow black intellectuals. In 1957 she returned to Howard University, was married, and had two children before divorcing in 1964. In the late 1960s, she became the first black female editor in fiction at Random House in New York City. Her perhaps most celebrated work, Beloved, was made into a 1998 film. In 1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected her for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities. She was honored with the National Book Foundation’s Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2012.
In 2016, she received the PENSaul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. Morrison played a vital role in bringing Black literature into the mainstream. One of the first books she was working on was the groundbreaking African Contemporary Literature, in Syracuse, New York, in 1979. She also worked on the groundbreaking Contemporary Contemporary Books, a textbook division of Random House, in 1984. She died of cancer on August 4, 2019, in Los Angeles, California, aged 80. She is survived by her husband, Harold Morrison, and their two children, a son and a daughter, both of whom were born in the 1980s. She had a son with her second husband, Jamaican architect, Harold Jamaican Jamaican Morrison, whom she married in 1958. Morrison was married for seven years, and then had a daughter with her third husband, Michael Jamaican Jamaica Jamaican, in 1986. She later had a second son with husband Harold, and became pregnant with their second son when she divorced in 1964; she later had another son with Harold. Morrison died of lung cancer in 2009. She has been married to husband Harold for more than 50 years; the couple had three children together. Morrison had two sons with her fourth husband, David Jama Jama Jama, and one son with his third wife, Michael Jamaica Jama, in 2010. Morrison is buried in Mount Vernon, New Jersey, where she lived with her husband.