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'Up the Down Staircase' author Bel Kaufman dies at 103

By Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN
updated 11:38 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Author and dedicated teacher Bel Kaufman dies at 103
  • Kaufman rose to fame after penning "Up the Down Staircase" in 1965
  • She was a graduate of Hunter College and Columbia University

(CNN) -- Bel Kaufman, author of the bestselling 1960s classic "Up the Down Staircase," has died at 103.

Kaufman's digital publisher Open Road Media said the writer died on Friday.

Kaufman, also a teacher and lecturer, was probably best known for her 1965 novel "Up the Down Staircase, " about a young teacher battling the New York public school bureaucracy.

Born in Germany and raised in Russia, Kaufman came to the United States with her family when she was 12.

She was a graduate of Hunter College and Columbia University and worked as a New York City high school teacher for three decades before launching a second career as an author.

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