It was "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", his first full-length play, that brought him the most notoriety.
The writer's personal assistant Jackob Holder confirmed his death.
The three-time Pulitzer prize victor was heralded as a "wunderkind" in the early 1960s when his "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" - probably his best-known work - debuted on Broadway in 1962 and won a Tony Award for best play.
The play, too controversial for a Pulitzer, painted a scathing portrait of a decaying marriage and solidified Albee's place in theater history.
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He ended his joke rant by stating, "I have a message for you "lame" Maggie Smith , if you're even bothering to watch". Despite winning 4 Emmys, she's never attended the ceremony. "We're not mailing this award to her.
On Twitter, actress Mia Farrow called Albee "one of the great" playwrights of our time, while fellow playwright Lynn Nottage said she would "miss his wit, irreverence and wisdom".
He also garnered Pulitzers for "Seascape" in 1975, followed "Three Tall Women" in 1994.
Albee was a giant of American letters whose dark, cerebral plays about domestic life were the recipient of numerous awards. He made his Broadway debut in 1962, with the landmark, Tony-winning Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Michael McKean wrote: "There was only one Edward Albee".
He added that some critics made erroneous assumptions about his work because he was gay, interpreting the two heterosexual couples portrayed in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as thinly veiled gay couples.
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As an author, Albee helped Americanize the European Theater of the Absurd, embracing both existentialism and metaphysical elements.
Albee was born in 1928 and was adopted by a wealthy suburban NY couple.
In recent years, he told TV's Charlie Rose he was "thrown out" by his adoptive parents because they didn't approve of his wanting to become a writer.
Albee sparked controversy in LGBT circles in 2011 when accepting Lambda Literary's Pioneer Award, which recognizes groundbreaking LGBT authors.
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He spent 30 years with his partner Jonathan Thomas, from 1971 till Thomas's death in 2005.