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