Toni Morrison Fast Facts

CNN  — 

Here’s a look at the life of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison.


Birth date: February 18, 1931

Death date: August 5, 2019

Birth place: Lorain, Ohio

Birth name: Chloe Anthony Wofford

Father: George Wofford

Mother: Ella Ramah (Willis) Wofford

Marriage: Harold Morrison (1958-1964, divorced)

Children: Slade and Harold Ford

Education: Howard University, B.A., 1953; Cornell University, M.A., 1955

Other Facts

Is the first African-American woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Wrote the libretto for the opera “Margaret Garner,” which premiered in 2005.


1955-1957 - Teaches at Texas Southern University.

1957-1964 - Teaches at Howard University.

1963-1983 - Works as an editor at Random House.

1970 - “The Bluest Eye” is published.

1973 - “Sula” is published.

1977 - “Song of Solomon” is published.

1981 - “Tar Baby” is published.

1984 -1989 - Serves as the Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities at the State University of New York in Albany.

1987 - “Beloved” is published.

1988 - Is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for “Beloved.”

1989-2006 - Serves as the Robert F. Goheen Chair in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University.

1993 - Is awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature.

1998 - The film version of “Beloved,” starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover, is released.

2000 - Is awarded the National Humanities Medal.

2001 - Is given the Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

2001 - Is given the Enoch Pratt Free Library Lifetime Literary Achievement Award.

2004 - “Remember: The Journey to School Integration” is published.

2004 - Is awarded the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Fiction for “Love.”

2005 - Is given the Coretta Scott King Award for “Remember: The Journey to School Integration.”

2010 - Morrison’s son Slade dies from pancreatic cancer.

May 2012 - Is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

2013 - Wins the NYC Literary Honors for Fiction.

April 2015 - Morrison is announced as the 2016 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University.

2017 - “The Origin of Others” is published.

2018 - Oprah Winfrey presents Morrison with The Center for Fiction’s “Lifetime of Excellence in Fiction” honor.

2019 - The documentary “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.

August 5, 2019 - Morrison dies at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

February 1, 2022 - “Recitatif,” a rare short story by the late author, is released as a book.