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August Wilson

  • Wilson was Born

    Wilson was Born
    He was born Frederick August Kittel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Frederick August, his dad, was a baker and a German immigrant and Daisy Wilson, his mom, cleaned homes. He had five siblings.
  • End of World War II

    End of World War II
    The end of World War II marked the conclusion of a conflict in history. It led to the defeat of Nazi Germany and Axis powers. The war ended with the unconditional surrender of Japan after the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The aftermath led to significant shifts, including the division of Germany and the beginning of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
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    August Wilson won 28 awards throughout his lifetime.
  • Mom Remarries

    Mom Remarries
    Wilsons dad left Daisy and the kids. Daisy Wilson remarried later in 1958. The new family moved to a suburb of Pittsburgh.
  • Drop Out

    Drop Out
    He drops out of Gladstone High in 10th grade. He was being accused of plagiarizing a paper on Napoleon Bonaparte. He read a lot and educated himself by going to a nearby library called Carnegie Library.
  • Kicked out the house

    Kicked out the house
    Wilson really wanted to be a writer, but his mother wanted him to be a lawyer. She kicked him out of the house and he joined the army. He left after a year and did jobs as a gardener and dishwasher.
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    Cuban Missile Crisis

    The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It started when the U.S. discovered that the USSR were secretly giving nuclear missiles to Cuba. This led to a thirteen-day standoff, during which the world was on the brink of nuclear war. the crisis was stopped, with the U.S. agreeing not to invade Cuba, and the USSR removing their missiles from the island.
  • John F. Kennedy Assassination

    John F. Kennedy Assassination
    President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was known for his vision of social progress and international diplomacy. His assassination remains a subject of debate and conspiracy theories, and it had a profound impact on American society.
  • Name change

    Name change
    Kittel changed his last name from Kittel to Wilson after his father died in 1965 and due to previous events with him. He also wanted to honor his mother's last name instead of his dads.
  • Malcom X's Assassination

    Malcom X's Assassination
    Malcom X was assassinated on February 21st, 1965. His supporters still continued to follow the movement even after he died.
  • Biological Dad's Death

    Biological Dad's Death
    Frederick August died on April 1st, 1965. He died in Seattle, King County, Washington, USA. He was buried in
    Saint Stanislaus and Saint Anthony Cemetery. He lived to be 60 years old.
  • Black Horizon Theater

    Black Horizon Theater
    August Wilson and Rob Penny co-founded the Black Horizon Theater in Pittsburgh's Hill District. The theater became a platform for African American voices, showcasing Wilson's plays and exploring themes of identity, discrimination, and social justice. The Black Horizon Theater left a lasting impact on American theater, inspiring a new generation of artists and amplifying the African American experience on stage.
  • Martin Luther King Jr Assassination

    Martin Luther King Jr Assassination
    Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent civil rights leader, was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. His assassination shocked the nation and sparked riots in several cities. King was known for his nonviolent activism and his fight against racial inequality and discrimination.
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    1st Wife

    He married Brenda Burton and had one child together. They divorced in 1972.
  • 1st Daughter

    1st Daughter
    He had one daughter with his first wife, Brenda Burton. His daughter was named Sakina Ansari, and she was born in 1970. She is still alive to this day.
  • Vietnam War Starts

    Vietnam War Starts
    The Vietnam War was a military conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The war was a result of Cold War tensions and the desire to contain the spread of communism. It was marked by guerrilla warfare, heavy casualties, and intense protests worldwide. The war ended with the fall of Saigon and the reunification of Vietnam under communist rule.
  • Lets go to Minnesota!

    Lets go to Minnesota!
    At the suggestion of his friend, director Claude Purdy, August Wilson made the decision to relocate to Minnesota. It was through Purdy's support and guidance that Wilson secured a position writing educational scripts for the Science Museum of Minnesota. This opportunity allowed Wilson to further develop his writing skills while engaging with scientific subjects, showcasing his versatility as a playwright and expanding his creative horizons.
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    Post-Black Arts Movement

    August Wilson's connection to the Post-Black Arts Movement began in the 1980s and continued until his passing in 2005. He wrote and produced his plays, such as the Pittsburgh Cycle, which delved into the African-American experience. Wilson's works contributed to the expansion of African-American representation in theater and aligned with the Post-Black Arts Movement's objective of showcasing diverse Black voices and narratives.
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    2nd wife

    He married Judy Oliver in 1981 and she was a social worker. They divorced in 1990.
  • Jitney

    Jitney is set in 1982 Pittsburgh, a group of African-American jitney drivers explore their lives, dreams, and struggles at the station. The play explores themes of community, family, and cultural identity, offering a poignant portrayal of the African-American experience in a changing world. It was premiered in Allegheny Repertory Theatre. It was nominated for Best Revival of a Play, Outstanding New Play and For Drama and won.
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    Total Plays

    He wrote a total of 10 plays. He made one at least every year. The cycle is 10 plays for each historical event for African Americans for every decade of the 20th century.
  • Daisy Kittel's death

    Daisy Kittel's death
    His mom died in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA. Her resting place is in the Greenwood Cemetery. She lived to be 63 years old.
  • Fences

    Fences is a powerful play by August Wilson. It is set in 1950s Pittsburgh and it follows Troy Maxson, a former baseball player, as he grapples with family, race, and personal struggles. A poignant exploration of African-American life and the pursuit of dreams. It premiered in Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Waterford, Connecticut. It was nominated for the Tony Awards best play and won.
  • Two Trains Running

    Two Trains Running
    The play is set in the 1960s takes place in a Pittsburgh diner owned by Memphis Lee. The story is around the lives of the regular patrons as they discuss and confront issues of race, inequality, and societal changes. The themes of the play are identity, hope, and the search for meaning in a rapidly evolving world. It premiered in Yale Repertory Theatre New Haven, Connecticut.
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    August Wilson received lots of honorary degrees throughout his illustrious career. One notable recognition was the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree bestowed upon him by the University of Pittsburgh. This distinction held special significance as Wilson had served as a trustee at the university from 1992 to 1995. The honorary degree acknowledged his exceptional contributions to the arts.
  • 3rd Wife

    3rd Wife
    He married Constanza Romero and she was a costume designer. They had one kid together named Azula Carmen Wilson. They stayed together for up until he died.
  • Terrorist Attacks

    Terrorist Attacks
    On September 11, 2001, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks were carried out by the group al-Qaeda on the United States. Hijackers took airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia. This all led to significant changes in global security measures and the launch of the U.S.-led War on Terror.
  • Diagnosed

    "Wilson said that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2005 and been given three to five months to live."
  • Radio Golf

    Radio Golf
    Radio Golf is the tenth and last play in August Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle. Set in the 1990s, it follows the story of Harmond Wilks, an African-American running for mayor, he plans to redevelop a significant area known as the Hill District. He navigates the world of politics and business, conflicts arise between progress, heritage, and the community's identity. The themes of the play are gentrification, race, and challenges.
  • Death of Wilson

    Death of Wilson
    Wilson died on October 2nd, 2005 in Seattle, Washington. His resting place is in Greenwood Cemetery in Pittsburgh. He died in the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. His cause of death is due to liver cancer. He made it up to the age of 65.