Haper Lee, the reclusive author of two books – both amongst the most controversial of their time – has passed away on Friday at the age of 89. For an author who only published two books in her life, Lee’s place in literary history is assured by the quality of the two and the effect they had on American society.
1961’s To Kill a Mockingbird is considered to be the greatest American novel. It introduced the world to Atticus Finch, a principled lawyer who defended a black man against a rape charge in rural Alabama. Most American schools today mandate Mockingbird as required reading.
The book was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film. Here Harper Lee is pictured with Gregory Peck, who starred in the movie and won an academy award for best actor for his role as Atticus Finch.