Poet Sylvia Plath's Son Commits Suicide
03/23/2009 AT 03:00 PM EDT
Nicholas Hughes, 47, hanged himself at his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Monday, March 16, the Associated Press reports a week later. His death comes 46 years after his mother committed suicide and nearly 40 years after his stepmother, Assia Wevill, did the same.
Hughes's sister, Frieda Hughes, issued a statement professing her "profound sorrow" and saying that her younger brother "had been battling depression for some time."
Hughes, an evolutionary biologist, worked at University of Alaska Fairbanks for nearly a decade before leaving the position about a year ago. He had no children and was not married.
Hughes was just a baby in 1963 when Plath, a poet and author of The Bell Jar, killed herself. Hughes's father was the poet Ted Hughes, who died of cancer in 1998.
Of Nicholas Hughes, Plath once wrote: "You are the one/Solid the spaces lean on, envious/You are the baby in the barn."