Toni Morrison Lost Son Slade Nearly A Decade Ago, Leaves Behind Son Harold Ford And Three Grandchildren

US Author and Nobel Prize in literature winner Toni Morrison receives the Honor Medal of The City of Paris
Francois Durand / Getty Images

Tuesday morning, reports revealed that famed author Toni Morrison had died at the age of 88. Morrison does leave behind one son and several grandchildren. However, she also lost a son nearly a decade ago.

As The Inquisitr shared, the award-winning author passed away Monday evening after a short illness. Morrison was reportedly surrounded by friends and family when she died.

Fans of Morrison know that she lived a colorful, intriguing life. Toni was married just once for a short time to Jamaican architect Harold Morrison, and the couple had two sons. The Los Angeles Times notes that Harold Ford was 3-years-old and Toni was pregnant with her second son, Slade Kevin, when she and her husband split.

“I used to write with my children pulling on my hair, babies pulling on my earrings. My baby once spit up orange juice on my tablet, and I just wrote around it.”

Sadly, Slade died in 2010 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. After losing her son, Toni reportedly stopped writing for a while. Talk show icon Oprah Winfrey once asked Morrison about Slade’s death, and the author noted that the idea of finding closure over her son’s passing felt like an insult.

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At home with Slade and Harold Jr. My pride and joy.

A post shared by toni morrison (@toni.morrison) on

According to Esme, Morrison took to wearing a heart necklace that was carved out of butterstone as a tribute to her son. She also dedicated one of her novels, Home, to him.

According to his author page on the Simon & Schuster site, Slade collaborated with Toni to write five children’s books. He grew up in Ohio with his mom and brother, and later attended the State University of New York at Purchase to study art.

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Toni’s older son, Harold, now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. In a profile done several years ago by the Jamaica Observer, he noted that as a young boy, he had been inspired by his father’s architectural work.

“When I was four years old I saw my father’s drawings for the first time and knew instantly I wanted to do that.”

Harold (who also goes by his middle name Ford) did some acting as a young child, but he became an intern at an architectural firm in New Orleans when he was 15-years-old. He went on to become a lecturer in design with Princeton University.

Toni Morrison’s fans are mourning her death Tuesday morning, with many reflecting on the lessons she taught through the writing she did. Slade Morrison’s children’s books that he wrote with his mother still make an impact on young people’s lives, and it seems that Harold Ford Morrison is making his mark in ways inspired by both of his parents.