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Bel Kaufman dies at 103; wrote bestseller 'Up the Down Staircase'

Bel Kaufman dies at 103; wrote bestseller 'Up the Down Staircase'

Bel Kaufman, who wrote the 1960s hit novel "Up the Down Staircase," about teaching in an inner-city school, lectured widely on the topic "surviving through humor."

Hopefully, her audiences took good notes. Kaufman, who survived violence in Russia as a child as well as other travails, was still teaching a college course at 99.

Kaufman, 103, died Friday in her apartment in New York of age-related causes, said her daughter, Thea Goldstine.

As a writer and humorist, Kaufman came upon her talents honestly — her grandfather was the much-beloved Yiddish humorist

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