Nobel Prize Winner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Dies at Age 87

Nobel Prize Winner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Dies at Age 87

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, Colombian novelist, short-tory writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America, has died at the age of 87.

Locals in Columbia are holding a ceremony in his birth place of Aracataca, the setting for his seminal novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.

On Tuesday, the Colombian government will hold a formal televised ceremony at the main cathedral in the capital Bogota.

President Obama released the following statement on Márquez's passing:

"With the passing of Gabriel García Márquez, the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers -- and one of my favorites from the time I was young. Affectionately known as 'Gabo' to millions of his fans, he first won international recognition with his masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude. I once had the privilege to meet him in Mexico, where he presented me with an inscribed copy that I cherish to this day. As a proud Colombian, a representative and voice for the people of the Americas, and as a master of the 'magic realism' genre, he has inspired so many others -- sometimes even to pick up the pen themselves. I offer my thoughts to his family and friends, whom I hope take solace in the fact that Gabo's work will live on for generations to come."

Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism. From early on, he showed no inhibitions in his criticism of Colombian and foreign politics. In 1958, he married Mercedes Barcha; they have two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo.

He started as a journalist, and wrote many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for hisnovels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), Autumn of the Patriarch (1975) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as magic realism, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations. Some of his works are set in a fictional village called Macondo (the town mainly inspired by his birthplace Aracataca), and most of them express the theme of solitude.

Photo Credit: Jose Lara