How Did Elizabeth Cook-Lynn Die? Rapid City South Dakota Novelist Died At 92

In the literary world, certain individuals leave an indelible mark through their words and stories. Elizabeth Cook-Lynn was one such luminary whose works captivated readers and shed light on the experiences of marginalized communities. With profound sadness, the news of her passing on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023, at the age of 92 in Rapid City, South Dakota, shattered the whole literary community. Elizabeth Cook-Lynn’s contributions to the field of Native American literature were groundbreaking. She was a co-founder of Wíčazo Ša Review, a leading academic journal dedicated to Native American studies.

Keep reading the article to know more about Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, including who she was, how she died, what was the cause of her death, tributes for her, and much more!

Table of Contents

Who Was Elizabeth Cook-Lynn?

Born on September 6, 1930, in Fort Thompson, South Dakota, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn’s life was shaped by her Lakota Sioux heritage. She grew up immersed in the rich traditions and culture of her people, which ultimately became the wellspring of inspiration for her writing. After completing her education, Cook-Lynn embarked on an illustrious career, making significant strides in academia, activism, and literature.

Cook-Lynn’s intellectual expertise launched her into the world of academia. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University and later pursued graduate studies at Syracuse University. Armed with knowledge and a profound understanding of indigenous issues, Cook-Lynn became a tenacious advocate for Native American rights.

She taught at various esteemed institutions, including Eastern Washington University, Arizona State University, and the University of California, Los Angeles, leaving an indelible impact on her students.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn Literary Contributions:

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn’s literary works were characterized by their poignant exploration of identity, colonialism, and the struggles faced by Native American communities. Her seminal novel, “From the River’s Edge,” published in 1991, garnered critical acclaim for its incisive portrayal of cultural dislocation and the complexities of indigenous-white relations. Cook-Lynn’s other notable works include “Why I Can’t Read Wallace Stegner” and “Anti-Indianism in Modern America: A Voice from Tatekeya’s Earth.”
Cook-Lynn’s prose was marked by a unique blend of history, personal experience, and social commentary. Through her writing, she fearlessly confronted the lingering effects of colonization, challenging societal narratives and advocating for the reclamation of indigenous identity. Her works became a voice for the voiceless, amplifying the struggles and aspirations of Native American communities.

How Did Elizabeth Cook-Lynn Die? Cause of Death Explained

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, a well-known novelist, whose untimely passing at the age of 92 in Rapid City, South Dakota, has left an indelible void in the hearts of readers and writers alike. Cook-Lynn’s contributions as a novelist, academic, and activist echo far beyond the pages of her books.

At the time, this article is being written, the cause of Elizabeth Cook-Lynn’s passing remains undisclosed. However, it is believed that Elizabeth died due to natural causes. Also, she had asked for no public ceremonies because she was a very private person.

This sad news was first announced by Marnie Cook through a Facebook post, and also penned a heartfelt note for her, saying

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, 92, passed away on July 5th, 2023 in Rapid City, South Dakota. As we share our sorrow with family and friends right here, our hearts are heavy. She had a minor case of pneumonia that turned into a lung infection when she was sent to the hospital on Monday afternoon. She wasn’t in pain. We are happy to have been there to send you off on your journey and we love you, Liz.”

Tributes pour for Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn’s passing leaves a void in the literary world, but her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. As soon as the news of her death came out, many of her family and loved ones took to different social platforms to pay tribute to her.


Kim TallBear tweeted with a caption, which reads “I like Liz’s intellectual grit a lot. Even when she was strict with me, I made an effort not to fear her but to be grateful for her. She was a Dakota woman who had a long and meaningful life; I hope her next path is fruitful.”



In a tweet, Jacqueline Keeler mentioned, “She was a remarkable Dakota woman, and I felt privileged to have her assistance and support when I most needed it. Our relatives are waiting for us in that camp, where she has already gone. Happy travels and wopida!”



Alex Young wrote, “RIP Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. One who consistently emphasized that tribal sovereignty battles needed to be understood in the context of global decolonization and whose early, bold comments in discussions about the literature of the US West still ring true.”

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, a noted novelist, educator, and activist, leaves behind a legacy that serves as a guiding light for those navigating the complex ground of identity and social justice. Her contributions to Native American literature and her steady commitment to local rights will forever be remembered. Elizabeth Cook-Lynn’s invulnerable spirit will continue to inspire and challenge us to confront the injustices that persist in our societies.

Visit our website frequently to read similar articles, and please leave comments below with your prayers and thoughts for Elizabeth Cook-Lynn’s beloved family and loved ones as they navigate this difficult time.

Leave a Comment