Langston Hughes

(February 1st, 1901 — May 22nd, 1967)

James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, and playwright. He was a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.

Hughes was born in Missouri. Shortly after his birth, his parents divorced and he and his sibling were left with his mother who travelled throughout the midwest to find work. For a long period, he was raised by his maternal grandmother in Kansas, and then family friends. After his mother remarried, he lived with her through his completion of high school.

Hughes was very intelligent and began writing at a young age. His first piece of jazz poetry was written in high school. In 1920, he began an engineering degree in Columbia University in New York, but left the university due to racial prejudices. After that he worked off jobs and travelled to West Africa and Europe for a short time. He enrolled in Lincoln University and earned a BA in 1929.

After this, he settled in Harlem. He wrote extensively, poetry and fiction and plays, and he edited the literary magazine Fire!! and was very prolific in his career.

In 1967, Hughes died of complications from abdominal surgery as part of a treatment for prostate cancer.

Langston Hughes is a book author.

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