Renowned feminist activist and author bell hooks died in her home in Kentucky in the US on Thursday, AP reported. She was 69. Her sister Gwenda Motley said that hooks died due to last-stage renal failure, The New York Times reported.

hooks was born in 1952 as Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville town of Kentucky. She gave herself the pen name bell hooks to honour her maternal great-grandmother. However, she spelled the words in lower case to establish her own identity, according to AP.

hooks was known for her work on race, gender, economics and politics.

She started writing in the 1970 and her notable works include Black Women and Feminism, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, All About Love: New Visions and Ain’t I a Woman? She also wrote poetry and children’s stories and worked in documentaries such as Black Is ... Black Ain’t and Hillbilly.

Her definition of feminism, in which she called it “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression”, is one of her most famous expressions.

hooks’ expansive writing on “gender and race helped push feminism beyond its white, middle-class worldview to include the voices of Black and working-class women”, The New York Times said in its obituary.

Several social media users paid tribute to the author.