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Toni Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio in 1931 as the second of four children born to George Wofford and Ramah Willis Wofford. Her father was a hardworking laborer and her mother was involved in the church. Even during the Depression, Chloe Wofford enjoyed a stable family life. She later changed her name to Toni while in college because most people mispronounced her given name. She married Harold Morrison after she began teaching at Howard University. After she left teaching she worked as an editor with different divisions of Random House before launching her own writing career.

Morrison examines the black experience through her writings. In 1993 she received the Nobel Prize for Literature for her works up to that point. She was the first African American woman to received the Nobel Prize for Literature. She also won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, BELOVED, which was made into a major motion picture in 1998.


CHRONOLOGY

1931 She was born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio. (February 18)

1949 She graduated with honors from Lorain High School.

1953 She received her B.A. from Howard University.

1955 She received her M.A. From Cornell University.; She began teaching at Texas Southern University.

1957 She left Texas Southern and began teaching at Howard University.

1958 She married Harold Morrison.

1961 Her son, Harold Ford, was born.

1965 She left Howard to become an editor with a Random House.

1970 THE BLUEST EYE was published.

1973 SULA was published.

1975 SULA was nominated for the National Book Award in fiction.

1977 SONG OF SOLOMON was published.

1981 TAR BABY was published.

1984 She began teaching writing at the State University of New York at Albany.

1986 Her play, DREAMING EMMETT, premiered at the Marketplace Theater in Albany. (January 4)

1987 BELOVED was published.

1988 She won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for BELOVED.

1989 She left SUNY and joined the faculty at Princeton University.

1992 JAZZ was published.

1993 She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1998 PARADISE was published.