Was Toni Morrison Ever Married?

The world is mourning the loss of author Toni Morrison. She died yesterday at Montefiore Medical Center due to complications from pneumonia.

Writers, fans, and celebrities have all expressed their grief via social media, but those who knew her best have requested their privacy during this time.

“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,” her family said in a statement. 

“She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother, and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends.  The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing.  Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life.”

“While we would like to thank everyone who knew and loved her, personally or through her work, for their support at this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we mourn this loss to our family.  We will share information in the near future about how we will celebrate Toni’s incredible life.”

Morrison’s life

Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio in 1931. In 1949, she began attending the historically black college, Howard University. After graduating, she went on to get her Master of Arts from Cornell University.

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In 1967, she became the first African American editor at Random House. While there, she published work from black authors like Toni Cade Bambara, Angela Davis, Gayl Jones, and Henry Dumas.

Throughout her career, she focused her works on the black experience in America. Because of her distinct view of the world and ability to weave words together in such a poetic manner, she became one of the most critically acclaimed writers of her generation.

In 1988, she won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her book “Beloved.” A few years later in 1993, she became the first African American to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

And in 2012, former President Barack Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Was Morrison ever married?

Morrison often wrote of love and loss. One of her most famous quotes about love was from the book “Jazz” by her character, Joe Trace.

“Nobody gave you to me,” he says. “Nobody said that’s the one for you. I picked you out. Wrong time, yep, and doing wrong by my wife. But the picking out, the choosing. Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. I saw you and made up my mind. My mind. And I made up my mind to follow you too.”

With such profound notions of love, people have often wondered about Morrison’s own love life.

But Morrison’s romantic entanglements have been short at best.

In 1958, she married Harold Morrison, a Jamaican architect. They had two sons together, Harold and Slade, but ultimately separated in 1964.

Though she raised her children mostly alone, her son Harold credited his father as having a big impact on his life.

“His impact was profound,” he said of his father to the Jamaica Observer. “His determination, his talent. He had that dash of flamboyance in both style and action.”