Langston Hughes Biography (1902-1967)

Full name, James Mercer Langston Hughes; born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, MO; died of congestive heart failure, May 22, 1967, in New York, NY; son of James Nathaniel (a lawyer, rancher, and businessman) and Carrie Mercer (a teacher; maiden name, Langston) Hughes. Career: Writer. Karamu Theatre, Cleveland, OH, playwright in residence, 1936 and 1939; Baltimore Afro-American, Baltimore, MD, correspondent in Madrid, Spain, 1937; Harlem Suitcase Theatre, Harlem, New York City, founder, 1938; New Negro Theatre, Los Angeles,CA, founder, 1939; Skyloft Players, Chicago, IL, founder, 1941; Chicago Defender, Chicago, IL, columnist, 1943-67; Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA,visiting professor of creative writing, 1947; University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, poet in residence at Laboratory School, 1949; New York Post, NewYork City, columnist, 1963-66. Associated with the "Harlem Renaissance" movement of African-American writers and artists in the 1920s. Also worked as a crewmember on ocean voyages to Africa and Europe. Awards, Honors: Firstprize in poetry, Opportunity magazine literary contest, 1925; poetryand essay prizes, Amy Spingarn Contest, Crisis magazine, 1925; first prize, Witter Bynner undergraduate poetry prize contests, 1926; Intercollegiate Poetry Award, Palms, 1927; Harmon Gold Medal for Literature, 1931; Guggenheim fellow, 1935; New Theatre League Award, 1936, for Angelo HerndonJones; Rosenwald fellow, 1941; Litt.D., Lincoln University, 1943; Academy-Institute Award for Literature, American Academy and Institute of Arts andLetters, 1946; grant from National Institute and American Academy of Arts andLetters, 1947; Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Racial Relations, Cleveland Foundation, 1953, for Simple Takes a Wife; Spingarn Medal, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1960; Litt. D., Howard University, 1960, and Western Reserve (now Case Western Reserve) University, 1964.

Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun takes its name froma line in Hughes's poem "A Dream Deferred." Hughes's poems have been translated into numerous languages including German, Russian, and Czech.

African American
Birth Details
February 1, 1902
Joplin, Missouri, United States
Death Details
May 22, 1967
New York, New York, United States

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