Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," a literary classic about racial injustice in the Jim Crow South, has died, her publisher said.
The famously reclusive Lee, 89, had been living in an assisted living facility since suffering a stroke in 2007 that forced her to move home from New York, where she had lived for decades. She died "peacefully in her sleep" Thursday night, HarperCollins Publishers said in a statement.
Preisdent Obama posted a tribute to Lee on Facebook.
"When Harper Lee sat down to write To Kill a Mockingbird, she wasn't seeking awards or fame. She was a country girl who just wanted to tell an honest story about life as she saw it," Obama wrote. "But what that one story did, more powerfully than one hundred speeches possibly could, was change the way we saw each other, and then the way we saw ourselves. Through the uncorrupted eyes of a child, she showed us the beautiful complexity of our common humanity, and the importance of striving for justice in our own lives, our communities, and our country.
"Ms. Lee changed America for the better. And there is no higher tribute we can offer her than to keep telling this timeless American story - to our students, to our neighbors, and to our children - and to constantly try, in our own lives, to finally see each other."