Hughes Langston 1901 - 1967 (66)
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James Mercer Langston Hughes (1901 – 1967) was an African-American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist, one of the earliest innovators of the literary art form called jazz poetry; he is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.
He was born on February 1, 1901 in Joplin, Missouri, he had a complex ancestry. Both of Hughes' paternal great-grandmothers were enslaved Africans, and both of his paternal great-grandfathers were white slave owners.
Growing up in a series of Midwestern towns, Hughes became a prolific writer at an early age. He moved to New York City as a young man, where he made his career. He graduated from high school in Cleveland, Ohio, and soon began studies at Columbia University in New York City. Although he dropped out, he gained notice from New York publishers, first in The Crisis magazine and then from book publishers, and became known in the creative community in Harlem. He eventually graduated from Lincoln University. In addition to poetry, Hughes wrote plays and short stories. He also published several nonfiction works. From 1942 to 1962, as the civil rights movement was gaining traction, he wrote an in-depth weekly column in a leading black newspaper, The Chicago Defender.
He died on May 22, 1967, in New York City from complications after abdominal surgery related to prostate cancer.