Harper Lee: Her Life in Pictures
The Life of Harper Lee
Harper Lee, the American author who penned the timeless classic To Kill a Mockingbird, died Feb. 18, 2016 in her hometown Monroeville, Alabama. In honor of the late author, take a look back of how her work changed the literary and cinematic worlds.
March 14, 1963
Harper Lee considered getting into the family business but quit law school one semester shy of graduating to make herself a writer. In 1949, she moved to New York and spent almost a decade crafting short stories no editor found publishable. But then her agent suggested that she expand one story into a novel, and To Kill a Mockingbird appeared in July 1960. In its first year out, the book sold 500,000 copies and won the Pulitzer.
The 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird was nominated for eight Oscars and won three, including a Best Actor trophy for Gregory Peck. The actor (left) is pictured greeting Lee (right) upon her arrival in Los Angeles in connection with the special opening of the film.
Mary Badham, who played Scout in the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird with author Lee on set.
Jan. 23, 2004
As years passed and no new book appeared, gossip filled the void: Lee was crafting her memoirs. She was working a nonfiction story about a murderous Alabama preacher. Soon she began swearing that she’d changed her mind: She’d never publish another book.
May 19, 2005
Lee poses with actress Annette Benning at a dinner held by the Richard Riordan Central Library in Los Angeles.
May 19, 2005
Lee (r.) receives her award at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles 2005 Awards Dinner at the City National Plaza.
University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins (l.), author Harper Lee (c.), and Notre Dame board of trustees president Patrick McCartan look out at the graduates of the class of 2006 as they hold up copies of Lee's book To Kill a Mockingbird during commencent ceremonies in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame had awarded Lee an honorary degree.
March 13, 2006
Playwright Horton Foote, writer Harper Lee and actor Robert Duvall attend Signature Theatre Company to honor Foote on the eve of his 90th birthday at the Ritz Carlton in New York City.
Aug. 20, 2007
Lee smiles during a ceremony honoring the four new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor at the state Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.
November 5, 2007
Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
November 5, 2007
U.S. President George W. Bush hangs a Presidential Medal of Freedom on the neck of Harper Lee.
October 19, 2009
Lee and Governor Bob Riley attend the 2009 Alabama Academy of Honor Inductions at the Old House Chambers in Montgomery, Alabama.
May 19, 2010
Lee pictured in her assisted living room in Montoeville, Alabama.
“The world knows Harper Lee was a brilliant writer but what many don’t know is that she was an extraordinary woman of great joyfulness, humility and kindness,” Michael Morrison, President and Publisher of HarperCollins US General Books Group and Canada said in a statement following news of her death. “She lived her life the way she wanted to – in private – surrounded by books and the people who loved her. I will always cherish the time I spent with her.”