Following news that the Nobel Prize winner died on Monday, Winfrey took to Instagram to remember her late friend. On Tuesday, multiple outlets reported that Morrison had died in the Bronx after a brief illness. She was 88.
In 1998, Winfrey starred in the film adaptation of Morrison's 1987 novel, Beloved, which went on to win the author the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Additionally, Morrison became the second author selected for Winfrey's book club in October 1996 with her 1977 novel, Song of Solomon. Winfrey went on to select Morrison's 1997 novel, Paradise, in 1998 and her 1973 work, Sula, in 2002.
"In the beginning was the Word. Toni Morrison took the word and turned it into a Song…of Solomon, of Sula, Beloved, Mercy, Paradise Love, and more," Winfrey wrote alongside a smiling photo of herself with Morrison from the author's first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. "She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truth-teller."
"She was a magician with language, who understood the Power of words. She used them to roil us, to wake us, to educate us and help us grapple with our deepest wounds and try to comprehend them," she continued. "It is exhilarating and life-enhancing every time I read and share her work."
"She was Empress-Supreme among writers. Long may her WORDS reign!" Winfrey added.
Other prominent celebrities posted in remembrance of Morrison following her death, including the likes of Beyonce and former president Barack Obama, who awarded Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
"Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page," Obama tweeted. "Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while."
Many others, including Common, remembered the late author with one of her most celebrated quotes: "We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives."