Author and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison died Monday night at age 88. The ‘Beloved’ author was the first black woman to ever receive the Nobel literature prize in 1993 and later was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Obama in 2012.

‘It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends,’ the statement said.

Barack Obama paid tribute in a touching post.