Langston Hughes

  • Born

    James Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri.
  • As a young child

    He was raised by his grandmother until he was thirteen, when he moved to Lincoln, Illinois, to live with his mother and her husband, before the family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Began writing poetry

    It was in Lincoln, Illinois, that Hughes began writing poetry.
  • After graduation

    Following graduation, he spent a year in Mexico and a year at Columbia University. During these years, he held odd jobs as an assistant cook, launderer, and a busboy, and travelled to Africa and Europe working as a seaman.
  • First book of poetry is published

    Hughes's first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1926.
  • Finished collge education

    He finished his college education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania three years later.
  • Won Harmon gold medal for literature

    In 1930 his first novel, Not Without Laughter, won the Harmon gold medal for literature.
  • Died from prostate cancer

    Langston Hughes died of complications from prostate cancer in May 22, 1967, in New York.