Carol T. Powers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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February 19, 2016 at 08:47 PM EST

Accolades continue to roll in for To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee after her death at 89. The latest comes from a high place: none other than former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Bush honored Lee with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, and sent a statement after the official announcement of Lee’s death on Friday.

“Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the death of a legendary novelist and lovely lady, Harper Lee,” Bush said. “Harper Lee was ahead of her time, and her masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird prodded America to catch up with her.”

GALLERY: Harper Lee’s life in pictures

Bush quoted his own words from 2007, when he declared “this daughter of Monroeville, Alabama had something to say about honor and tolerance and, most of all, love — and it still resonates.”

“Laura and I are grateful for Harper Lee and her matchless contributions to humanity and to the character of this country,” Bush’s statement concluded. 

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