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South African political activist Nadine Gordimer dead

In Madrid, Spain, Nadine Gordimer (L) attends the Save The Children Awards on October 6, 2008.
Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Political activist Nadine Gordimer, 90, passed away peacefully in her home on Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Gordimer's family has still not disclosed the cause of her passing. For years, Gordimer battled rheumatism and arthritis.

Gordimer used her own intellect to fight oppression that plagued South Africa's non-white demographic during the 1960's.

Gordimer was born on November 20, 1923. Gordimer was the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Britain. She began writing at age 9.

Gordimer composed 15 novels and many volumes of short stories throughout her career.

Almost all of Gordimer's pieces recount stories concerning ordinary individuals although she acknowledged that her first novel, "The Lying Days", encompassed autobiographical components.

Gordimer was a proud recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Gordimer was involved in the anti-apartheid movement and was a member of the African National Congress.

After the arrest of her closest friend, Bettie du Toit in 1960, Gordimer became active in South African politics.

Gordimer was close friends with Nelson Mandela and his defence attorneys during his 1962 trial. After being released from jail in 1990, she was one of the first individuals Mandela wanted to reunite with.

Gordimer is survived by her daughter Oriane and her son Hugo.

"Perhaps the best definition of progress would be the continuing efforts of men and women to narrow the gap between the convenience of the powers that be and the unwritten charter." --Nadine Gordimer