Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY
The poet and playwright Seamus Heaney has died at 74, according to multiple media reports Friday.
Heaney, who was born in Norther Ireland, was one of the region's most acclaimed writers and was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.
His first book, Death of a Naturalist, was published in 1966. He wrote 13 collections of poems and taught at many universities around the world, including Harvard and Oxford.
In 1996, he translated Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon epic poem.
Ireland's RTE News said Heaney's family would later release a statement.
Heaney's publisher, Faber & Faber, said in a statement on its website: "His impact on literary culture is immeasurable. As his publisher we could not have been prouder to publish his work over nearly 50 years. He was nothing short of an inspiration to the company, and his friendship over many years is a great loss."
The Irish Times said Heaney died after being admitted to a clinic where he was due to have an operation in Dublin.
In 2006, he suffered a stroke.
Obituaries from around the world called him the "greatest Irish poet since (William Butler) Yeats."
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