London: E.L Doctorow, author of the novels 'Ragtime' and 'Billy Bathgate', took his last breath in a New York hospital following to lung cancer. He was 84.

Doctorow was known for works which re-imagined the American experience and placed fictional characters in recognisable historical contexts, the BBC reported.

US President Barack Obama paid tribute to him as 'one of America's greatest novelists'.

Expressing his feelings, the president tweeted that Doctorow's books taught him much, and he will be missed.

In his 50-year career, Doctorow had published 10 novels, a stage drama, two books of short fiction and numerous essays.