Born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorain, Ohio, on Feb. 18, 1931, Morrison was the second of four children born to working-class parents George and Ramah Wofford, who left the South during the Great Migration.
Toni Morrison was a graduate of Howard University where she taught while writing her debut novel in the 1970′s “The Bluest Eye,” followed by 11 novels and her standout 1987 best-seller “Beloved,” which was turned into a movie.
Morrison also held teaching positions at Yale, Bard College, Rutgers and the State University of New York at Albany. She also wrote many non-fiction books, 5 children’s books, two plays, two short fiction stories and one libretto. On politics, she wrote an essay shortly after the election of Donald Trump for the New Yorker titled “Mourning for Whiteness,” calling out white supremacy.
The Nobel committee honored her career and dedication to centering the lives and histories of African Americans, and in 2012, President Barack Obama honored Toni Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.