E.L. James and Emily Ratajkowski Lead Twitter Tributes to Author Harper Lee
Fifty Shades of Gray author E.L. James, lawyer Erin Brockovich and model-turned-actress Emily Ratajkowski have been among the first wave of celebrities to pay tribute to author Harper Lee following her death.
The revered novelist, who won the Pulitzer Prize for To Kill a Mockingbird in 1961, passed away on Friday at age 89 and her fans have taken to social media to offer their thoughts and respect.
Gone Girl star Ratajkowski wrote, “RIP Harper Lee. You made me believe in the power of story”, while James offered a simple, “RIP Harper Lee”, and environmental activist Erin Brockovich tweeted, “To Kill a Mockingbird… wow…, Standing up for what’s right is not a new idea we just need to be reminded from time to time RIP Harper Lee.”
There were also Twitter tributes from Katie Couric, actress Uzo Aduba, Apple CEO Tim Cook, actresses Ariel Winter, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar, Selma director Ava DuVernay, Paper Towns author John Green, and Josh Gad, who wrote, “To Kill A Mockingbird was the first book I remember reading over start to finish. It propelled me toward my love for lit (literature).”
Harper Lee was living in a nursing home in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama when she died on Friday.
For half a century To Kill A Mockingbird was Lee’s only published work, but last year she returned to the bestseller list with the publication of Go Set a Watchman.
Born Nelle Harper Lee in 1926, the author was the youngest of four children. She studied law at the University of Alabama and spent a year at Oxford University in England as an exchange student.
She submitted the original manuscript of her first novel to JB Lippincott Company in 1957 and spent the next two years rewriting it after the publishers showed interest but suggested the story needed work. To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and immediately became an international bestseller. It was adapted for the big screen in 1962, and won four Oscars, including best actor for Gregory Peck – who played lead character Atticus Finch.
Lee turned down countless interviews and TV appearance offers following the success of her book, preferring to live a simple, quiet life with her sister Alice in their native Monroeville.
She also spent time in New York City.
She rarely appeared in public – in the past decade she was present to accept an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame University and she also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush.
Check out some of the tweets remembeing Lee below:
RIP Harper Lee. You made me believe in the power of story.
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) February 19, 2016
Rest in peace, Harper Lee. “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 19, 2016
To Kill A Mockingbird was the first book I remember reading over start to finish. It propelled me toward my love for lit. #HarperLee = icon
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) February 19, 2016
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) February 19, 2016
— Sarah Michelle (@SarahMGellar) February 19, 2016
To Kill a Mockingbird… wow.., Standing up for what’s right is not a new idea we just need to be reminded from time to time RIP Harper Lee
— erin brockovich (@ErinBrockovich) February 19, 2016