Gay playwright Edward Albee has died at age 88.

The acclaimed author and Pulitzer winner died on Friday at his home in Montauk, on New York’s Long Island.

He penned a number of broadway classics including A delicate Balance, Tiny alice and Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf – a groundbreaking play which opened in 1962 and won a Tony.

Gay icon Elaine Stritch starred in the play, which he is notably famous for, was considered controversial but despite its popularity did not win any other awards.

Albee was the last of the great playwrights of the 20th century, earning his place next to Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams.

The author won three Pulitzer Prizes for A delicate balance, Seascape and Three Tall Women.

Albee was a long time activist for LGBT rights but caused controversy when he said “I am not a gay writer. I am a writer who is gay” during an acceptance speech at the Lambda Literary Pioneer awards – an event which recognises groundbreaking LGBT authors.

Albee always considered himself a writer first and foremost.

He said: “I’ve written a number of plays that have gay characters in them, but I’ve never written a play that could be considered a ‘gay play’ because I consider that a lessening of the creative act, to limit oneself to one’s own sexual practices as the subject for one’s work.”

The writer, who grew up in Westchester County N.Y, received a Tony for lifetime achievement in 2005.

He spent 30 years with his partner Jonathan Thomas, from 1971 till Thomas’s death in 2005. Albee said their years together were “as close to a lifetime with someone as anybody gets.”