Harper Lee

Ms. Harper Lee

There has been recent coverage of the elder financial abuse case involving 87 year-old Harper Lee, author of the classic and important piece of American Literature, To Kill A Mockingbird. Allegedly, following a stroke Ms. Lee had in 2007, her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, used several tactics to trick her into surrendering her book royalties to him.

Financial exploitation is defined as involving the unauthorized or improper use of funds, property, or assets and this often happens to older adults at the hand of someone close to the them. A recent piece published by Senior Planet highlights this by noting that “elder financial abuse cases often involve friends and relatives, and this one is no exception: Pinkus is the son-in-law of one of Lee’s older and dearest friends, the late Eugene Winick.”

Ms. Lee is not alone in experiencing elder abuse.

For every one case of self-reported elder abuse in the New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, 24 cases went unreported. Research suggests that one in ten older adults are victims of abuse. A 2010 New York State Prevalence Study found that a staggering numbers of older New Yorkers – 260,000 each year – confront abuse, neglect and exploitation. With 1 in 24 older New Yorkers not being known to any system, it is clear that many elder abuse victims suffer in silence.

A case like Ms. Lee’s shines a bright light on the elder abuse epidemic exploding in the US and hopefully the publicity about her experience will raise public awareness about this human rights, public health and criminal justice issue. Raising awareness can help prevent others from a similar fate.

To read the piece published by Senior Planet, click here and to view an article published by Vanity Fair, click here. Both provide additional information about this story.

By Cara Kenien, LMSW, MPA, Social Media Manager, NYCEAC

24 Responses to Pulitzer-Prize Winning, Best-Selling Author, Victim of Elder Abuse

  1. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse, at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  2. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse, at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  3. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  4. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  5. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  6. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  7. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  8. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  9. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  10. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  11. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  12. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  13. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  14. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  15. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  16. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  17. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  18. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  19. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  20. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  21. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  22. [...] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. [...]

  23. […] Harper Lee, 87, author of the literary classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is battling financial exploitation and elder abuse at the hands of her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, reports NYC Elder Abuse Center. […]

  24. […] Our Pulitzer-Prize Winning, Best-Selling Author, Victim of Elder Abuse blog features a discussion about the coverage of the elder financial abuse case involving 87 year-old Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird. The blog uses Harper Lee’s story as a foundation to discuss the prevalence of financial abuse cases. The blog includes an eye-opening perspective on the frequency of such cases. […]

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