Langston Hughes

For the History Hall of Fame

Early Life

Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. However, his parents separated soon after Langston's birth. Hughes's was primarily raised by his maternal grandmother, Mary, until she died during Langston's early teens. Langston Hughes then went to live with his mother in Cleveland, Ohio. During this time Hughes first began to write poetry.

Growing Success

In 1925, Hughes's poem "The Weary Blues" won the first prize in the Opportunity magazine literary competition, and also received a scholarship to attend Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania. Carl Van Vechten used connection to help Langston on this poem. Hughes was also among the first to use jazz rhythms and dialect to depict the life of urban African-Americans.

Life of Letters

In 1940, Langston published his autobiography, The Big Sea. In 1930, his first novel "Not without Laughter." This book won Hughes the Harmon Gold Medal for literature. He also published a second volume of poetry, Fine Clothes of the Jew. Another contribution Langston Hughes had

Death and Legacy

Langston Hughes's Death

Langston Hughes died on May 22, 1967 from complications of prostate cancer. Hughes's ashes were buried beneath the entrance of the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black culture in Harlem. Langston Hughes's Harlem home, on East 127th Street, received New York City landmark status in 1981 and was added to the National Register of Places in 1982


"Langston Hughes; Poet", Article. January 7, 2014. Page 1., 1/7/14

"Langston Hughes", Article. May 2, 2016. Page 1., 5/2/16