Nobel Laureate and writer Nadine Gordimer was fearless in her stand for justice, equality and freedom, the SA National Editors Forum said.

Johannesburg - Nobel laureate and writer Nadine Gordimer was an inspiration through her concern for those who struggled for equality, United States President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.

“Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of South African author and activist Nadine Gordimer,” he said in a statement.

“A Nobel Prize winner who used her artful pen and courageous voice to battle against apartheid and other injustices, Nadine inspired us through her passionate concern for those who struggle for equality.”

Apart from being an active member of former president Nelson Mandela's African National Congress, Gordimer was also a fervent crusader in the movement to combat HIV/Aids, Obama said.

“The social history that she composed through her more than two dozen works of fiction shows her to have been an indefatigable champion of humanity who will continue to affect readers for generations to come,” he said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Nadine's two children, Oriane and Hugo, with their friends and family, and the countless people who have been moved by her work and are touched by her loss.”

In a statement sent on behalf of the Gordimer family, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs said she died peacefully in her sleep at her Johannesburg home on Sunday.

Son Hugo, daughter Oriane and helpers were with her.

The law firm said a private memorial service would be announced at a later date.

Gordimer was 90 years old.