Novelist Bel Kaufman has died, aged 103.

The school teacher-turned-author passed away on Friday (25Jul14) at her home in New York City.

Kaufman is best known for her best-selling 1965 book Up the Down Staircase, which told the story of a disillusioned English tutor, and was made into a 1967 movie starring Sandy Dennis and Patrick Bedford.

The novel spent 64 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and shifted more than six million copies.

Kaufman only wrote one more book, 1979's Love, Etc., which failed to replicate the success of Up the Down Staircase.