London, England -- Valerie Eliot, the widow and literary executor of poet T.S. Eliot, has died at the age of 86.
The poet's estate says she died Friday at her London home after a short illness.
Valerie Eliot was the second wife of the U.S.-born Nobel literature laureate, whom she met at London publisher Faber & Faber. He was a director, she a secretary.
The couple wed in 1957. Friends said the marriage was a happy one despite the almost 40year gap in their ages.
After T.S. Eliot's death in 1965, Valerie became his devoted executor, editing his poems and letters for publication and steadfastly refusing to cooperate with would-be biographers in keeping with the poet's last wishes.
A death notice in the Daily Telegraph newspaper said her funeral would be private.