Sad news to pass along on this Tuesday. Toni Morrison has passed away.

According to NPR, Morrison passed away on Monday night at a hospital in New York at the age of 88. Morrison's family, in a statement released by her publisher Penguin Random House, said she died "following a short illness" and was surrounded by loved ones.

Morrison's writings are considered master works in African American culture. She's best remembered for her book "Beloved" which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and Oprah Winfrey would later go on to produce a movie based on the book a decade later.

Born Chloe Wofford in Ohio, she later changed her name to Toni while in college at Howard University where she graduated with her bachelors in English in the early 1950's. She received her master's from Cornell and taught English at Texas Southern University for 2 years.

Her publishing career started as a textbook editor before publishing her first book "The Bluest Eye" in 1970 at the age of 39. She wrote 3 more books (Sula, Song Of Solomon, Tar Baby) and a stage play (Dreaming Emmett) between the 1970's to 1986 before writing her most acclaimed book "Beloved" in 1987.

In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, one of the top achievements of the many accolades she's received over the long and stellar career. She continued to publish and create works until 2015, but remained a major figure in the literary scene.

We send our heartfelt condolences to The Morrison Family and her many fans.