Fans mourn the death of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison

The acclaimed writer behind "Beloved," "The Bluest Eye" and "Song of Solomon" was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2012.
2:27 | 08/07/19

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Transcript for Fans mourn the death of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison
And we are remembering Toni Morrison tonight. A master storyteller and lyrical writer whose crown cans of black American experience including "Beloved" and "Song of Solomon" spoke to all Americans. They earned her every major American award and they earned her a place in American life. Toni Morrison was born Chloe Wofford in Ohio, 1932. The daughter of a steelworker and a singer. Once our "Person of the week," she told us the memories of her hometown in the midwest inspired her writings. Even when I'm writing about stories that take place in the west indies or in New York City, the matrix for my imagination, you know end the sort of wellspring out of which all of this comes, all of that comes out of Ohio. Reporter: An honor student in high school, she attended Howard university, where she got the nickname Toni. She became a book editor. There were few black women at the time in publishing. A divorced single mom of two boys, she'd work on her novels at their kitchen table after they went to bed. It came out of being a hungry reader and not finding some things in the libraries and in the book stores that I wanted to read. There was an incredible silence, a kind of void, the perceptions, the experience of African-Americans, and particularly, African-American women. Reporter: In 1987, she published "Beloved." Later turning it into a movie, starring Oprah Winfrey. Why you leave me? Beloved, I wasn't never going to leave you. Never. Reporter: And it was Winfrey who helped make Toni Morrison a household name. She reached into the depths of pain and shows us through pain all the myriad ways we can come to love. Reporter: In 1993, she became the first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize. And in 2012, president Obama awarded her a presidential medal of freedom. The nation's highest civilian honor. And asked once about writing, about life -- The pinnacle for me as a writer is really the writing, the next book, doing it better and better, every time out. You know, Toni Morrison was often asked how she wanted to be remembered, and she once said, as an honest, trustworthy person, not for all of her achievements. She later said, I was talking about how I wanted to be remembered by my family, which was most important to her.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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