Ruby Dee was 91 years old.
"Today, we mourn the passing of my dear friend of many years, Ruby Dee, whom I truly admired. She was a gifted and talented woman who joined with her late husband, Ossie Davis, to produce and present some of the most enjoyable and inspirational stage productions and movies that I have ever experienced. Ruby and Ossie were well connected with both the artistic and African-American communities. They were pioneers who opened doors previously shut tight to African-American artists, and planted the seeds for the success that actresses and actors of color enjoy today.
"Ruby and Ossie were also community activists committed to social justice and improving the lives of African-Americans. They were remembered by the Congressional Black Caucus for their efforts in establishing the Black Agenda during the 1972 National Black Political Convention. We missed Ossie when he passed away, and we were concerned about Ruby because they were a team, in which you didn't see one without the other. Ossie's death in 2005 was difficult for Ruby and for all of us. Now, her passing will be equally difficult.
"Ruby lived a productive life and is well-recorded in the history of this nation and her work will be cherished for years to come. As a legendary actress, playwright, and screenwriter, Ruby's career spanned more than half a century, and her enormous body of work included A Raisin in the Sun, the first Broadway play written by a black woman, and the memorable I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I will miss her dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with Ruby's family and friends during this very difficult time."