The writer, regarded as a leading chronicler of the American experience, produced more than 25 novels including American Pastoral, Sabbath's Theater and The Human Stain, in a career spanning six decades. And, in 2005, he became only the third living writer to have his books added to the Library of America.
Roth once wrote that his novel was not meant to be a direct portrayal or a warning of current and future political times, but it has not prevented comparisons between the novel's plot and the current political climate in the US.
He also won the Man Booker International Prize and the National Book Award for his work, which drew inspiration from the Jewish experience, American ideals and sex in America.
The 1969 novel "Portnoy's Complaint" rocketed him to fame for its raunchy, hilarious depiction of a teenage boy's lustful urges and ensuing guilt.
The writer was born on March 19, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey.
In this March 24, 1960 file photo, the three winners of the National Book Award, Robert Lowell, from left, awarded for the most distinguished book of poetry, Richard Ellmann, victor in the non-fiction category, and Philip Roth, recipient of the award in the fiction category for his book 'Goodbye, Columbus, ' pose at the Astor Hotel in New York City. He enrolled in Bucknell University as a law student and eventually switched to literature at the encouragement of a professor, who went on to become long-time friends with Roth.
In this March 22, 1993 file photo, American author Philip Roth is seen during an interview promoting his new book 'Operation Shylock: A Confession, ' in NY. The son of an insurance salesman, Roth earned a bachelor's degree at Buckle University and a master's degree in English from the University of Chicago.
Some critics said Roth's novels exposed him as a self-hating Jew who played on negative stereotypes or generally cast Jews in a bad light.
"His imagination has not only recast our idea of Jewish identity, it has also reanimated fiction, and not just American fiction, generally", the chair of the judges of the prize announced at the time.
In 1990, Roth married actress Claire Bloom after seven years of dating. "If I'm not an American, I'm nothing", said Roth. "I was by this time no longer in possession of the mental vitality or the physical fitness needed to mount and sustain a large creative attack of any duration", Roth mentioned in a recent interview about his decision.