Toni Morrison is one of the foremost leaders who brought African-American literature from the fringes of literary circles into the mainstream. Born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931, Morrison grew up in Lorain, Ohio. She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she majored in English before earning a Master of Arts from Cornell University. Morrison began her career by teaching English at several universities. In 1970, she published her first novel, The Bluest Eyes. Her best known novel, Beloved, was published in 1987. In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She continues her work promoting and supporting the central theme of her novels: the experience of African-Americans in unjust societies.