Chunua Achebe, Nigerian writer and author of Things Fall Apart, died Friday morning according to his British publisher, Penguin Books. While the exact reason for his passing is unknown, according to family sources and The New York Times, he had a brief illness prior to passing.

Achebe, who was a Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University was 82-years-old when he died in Boston, Massachusetts.

Over a span of 50 years Achebe wrote novels, short stories, books of poetry, critical essays, and children’s books. His most popular novel, “Things Fall Apart” has sold more than 10 millions copies, has been translated into 45 languages and is required reading for many high schools and college courses.

In October 2012, Penguin Books released Achebe’s last publication of his lifetime titled There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra which centered on the Nigerian Civil War.

Achebe leaves behind a wife, Christie Achebe, four children (Chinelo, Ikechukwu, Chidi, and Nwando), six grandchildren (Chochi, Chino, Chidera, C.J. (Chinua Jr.), Nnamdi and Zeal) as well as his numerous works.