Barack Obama, Shonda Rhimes, and Others Mourn Toni Morrison: ‘I Grew Up Wanting to Be Only Her’

Toni Morrison. Photo: Daniel Boczarski/FilmMagic

Toni Morrison died Monday night at age 88, according to her publisher, Knopf. On Tuesday, many celebrities posted messages mourning the Beloved author, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. “Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page,” Barack Obama tweeted, along with a photo of the two of them in the Oval Office. “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.” Other memories and quotes were posted by Ava DuVernay, Hillary Clinton, Bette Midler, and Robin Thede. “She made me understand ‘writer’ was a fine profession. I grew up wanting to be only her. Dinner with her was a night I will never forget,” wrote Shonda Rhimes. “Rest, Queen.” On her website, Beyoncé shared the Toni Morrison quote that she used to begin Homecoming: “If you surrender to the air you can ride it.” See more of the tributes that have been posted so far:

Hollywood Reacts to the Death of Toni Morrison