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  • George W. Bush Presidential Center

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Statement by President George W. Bush on the Passing of Harper Lee

February 19, 2016

CRAWFORD, TEXAS -- "Laura and I join our fellow Americans in mourning the death of a legendary novelist and lovely lady, Miss Harper Lee. Harper Lee was ahead of her time, and her masterpiece To Kill A Mockingbird prodded America to catch up with her. Even decades after its publication, her hero Atticus Finch inspires every reader. As I said when I honored Harper Lee with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007, ‘One reason To Kill A Mockingbird succeeded is the wise and kind heart of the author, which comes through on every page. This daughter of Monroeville, Alabama, had something to say about honor and tolerance and, most of all, love – and it still resonates.’ Laura and I are grateful for Harper Lee and her matchless contributions to humanity and to the character of our country."