Skip to Content

Toni Morrison Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

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.

1963-1983Works 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.”

1989-2006Serves 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.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - National

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content