Toni Morrison Dead at 88: Hollywood and Beyond Pay Tribute
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Celebrity Deaths of 2019

"I grew up wanting to be only her. Dinner with her was a night I will never forget. Rest, Queen," Shonda Rhimes tweeted.

Celebrities, politicians and more are paying tribute to Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison.

The iconic writer passed away at the age of 88 Monday night surrounded by her loved ones, Morrison's publisher and publicist confirmed Tuesday.

After the heartbreaking news of the critically-acclaimed author's death went viral, Hollywood and beyond expressed their sadness on social media and shared some of Morrison's most famous words.

Television writer and executive producer Shonda Rhimes expressed that Morrison helped her understand being a writer was a "fine profession."

"I grew up wanting to be only her. Dinner with her was a night I will never forget. Rest, Queen," Rhimes tweeted and added in another post, "Genius has moved on."

Actress Gabrielle Union wrote, "Her words were like mirrors to our collective souls. Like pillows to cushion the blows. Like mothers to wrap us in love. Like friends to hold our hands and see us through the darkness. #RipToniMorrison ❤ you. May we lift her up in the light of goodness and hold her there."

"Aw man Toni Morrison taught me the word Rememory," rapper and singer Chance the Rapper tweeted. "RIP to a incredibly powerful and impactful woman."

"Blackish" star Tracee Ellis Ross wrote a particularly moving tweet. "Toni Morrison. While you have left the physical realm, the many treasures you left us will bear fruit for generations and generations," she said. "Your work has cascaded through my life deeply and simply...rest in power to a beloved icon."

It wasn't only celebrities who paid tribute to Morrison. Politicians, including former President Barack Obama and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, also shared moving messages on social media. The Academy and Merriam-Webster's Twitter account posted tributes as well.

"Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page," Obama tweeted. "Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while."

Morrison was a renowned figure in literature and wrote 11 novels, multiple non-fiction books, plays, essays and much more. Her work particularly spoke to the African-American experience. In 1993, she became the first Black woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. Former President Obama awarded her Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Read on for more tributes.

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