'To Kill A Mockingbird' author Harper Lee dead at 89

 Writer Harper Lee © Stephen Shugerman
Harper Lee, author of the beloved American literary classic 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' has died at the age of 89 in her Alabama hometown.

Her passing was confirmed by the mayor’s office in Monroeville, where she was born on April 28, 1926.

Lee had lived for several years in a nursing home that was less than a mile from the house where she grew up.

Monroeville was the basis for the fictional town of Maycomb, the setting of her 1960 novel about racial injustice in the American South.

The novel won the Pulitzer Prize and sold over 40 million copies worldwide. It served as the basis of a Hollywood movie in 1962, starring Gregory Peck as attorney Atticus Finch, the brave attorney defending an African-American man accused of raping a white woman. The adaptation was a success in its own right, winning several Academy Awards.

Until last year, it was the only book Lee had ever written. A sequel, titled Go Set a Watchman, was released in July 2015 amid considerable controversy over whether she was taken advantage of by her publisher.

Lee was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, and the National Medal of Arts in 2010.

Lee was a notably private person, and rarely gave interviews. She was a beloved asset of her hometown.

"The world has lost a brilliant mind and a great writer," said Spencer Madrie, owner of Ol' Curiosities and Book Shoppe, a Monroeville book store that focuses largely on Lee's works, according to BBC. "There will always be something missing from Monroeville and the world at large in the absence of Harper Lee."