The Latest on the death of "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee, who died Friday (all times local):
6:30 p.m. CST
The family of author Harper Lee says in a statement that they will "miss her dearly."
Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," died Friday at age 89.
Hank Conner, Lee's oldest nephew and the family spokesman, recalls her as a loving family member, devoted friend and "generous soul."
The statement says the family will hold a private funeral service in the coming days.
6:15 p.m. EST
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama says author Harper Lee was "a country girl who just wanted to tell an honest story about life as she saw it."
The Obamas say the story that Lee told in "To Kill a Mockingbird" — about racial injustice in a small Southern town — changed the way Americans saw each other and changed the way Americans saw themselves.
They add that Lee's best-seller revealed the "beautiful complexity of our common humanity" and the "importance of striving for justice."
Lee died Friday at age 89.
2 p.m. EST
The White House is remembering Harper Lee as a "giant of American literature" whose writing influenced the country's perspective on issues.
Josh Earnest, a spokesman for President Barack Obama, says Obama had great respect for Lee.
Lee, the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," died Friday at age 89.
Earnest says Lee had her own impact on the country, its culture and its perspective on "some pretty sensitive topics."
He adds that her storytelling continues to resonate with many Americans even decades after her best-seller was first published.
11:10 a.m. CST
While the media invariably painted Harper Lee as a recluse, the "To Kill a Mockingbird" author was friendly and liked to socialize. A friend says Lee simply hated publicity.
Former newspaper reporter Connie Baggett says she knew Lee for years and found her to be friendly and chatty, as long as Lee knew the conversation wasn't for an interview. Lee died Friday at age 89.
Baggett, who now works for the city of Brewton, often encountered Lee at the grocery store and at gatherings.
Baggett says Lee played golf, went to church, attended parties with friends, and frequented a casino in Atmore often. But Lee didn't like publicity or reporters.
Baggett says, "She was an intensely private person."
11:50 a.m. EST
Publisher HarperCollins issued a statement Friday calling author Harper Lee "an extraordinary woman of great joyfulness, humility, and kindness."
Lee, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," died at age 89.
HarperCollins executive Michael Morrison said that while the world may know Lee as a "brilliant writer," many fewer people knew of her humility and kindness.
Andrew Nurnberg, her literary agent, said that when he last saw her six weeks ago and her mind and wit were as sharp as ever.
He said, "We have lost a great writer, a great friend and a beacon of integrity."
Harper Lee, the elusive author whose "To Kill a Mockingbird" became an enduring best-seller and classic film with its child's-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, has died. She was 89.
HarperCollins spokeswoman Tina Andreadis confirmed the author's death to The Associated Press on Friday.
For most of her life, Lee divided her time between New York City, where she wrote the novel in the 1950s, and her hometown of Monroeville, which inspired the book's fictional Maycomb.
"To Kill a Mockingbird," published in 1960, is the story of a girl nicknamed Scout growing up in a Depression-era Southern town. A black man has been wrongly accused of raping a white woman, and Scout's father, the resolute lawyer Atticus Finch, defends him despite threats and the scorn of many.
This story corrects day of death to Friday, not Thursday
This story corrects throughout the day of Lee's death to Thursday, not Friday. With BC-US--Obit-Harper Lee