Biography of Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes


February 1,1902

James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, second child of Carrie Langston Hughes and James Hughes

Parents Separated

January 1,1903 - JAnuary 1,1907

His parents separated and Langston Hughes move home repeatedly staying with relatives and friends

Life with Grandmother

January 1,1907 - January 1, 1915

Hughes lived with his grandmother, Mary Sampson Patterson Leary Langston, in Lawrence, Kansas, and briefly with his mother in Topeka, Kansas.

Life with Mom

January 1, 1915 - June 16, 1920

During this period he lives with his mother in Lincoln, Illinois, and in Cleveland, Ohio where he attended high school where he graduated on June 16, 1920

Moved with Dad

June 17, 1920 - November 1,1921

Langston Hughes lives with his father in Toluca, Mexico

Attempted College

January 1, 1924 - October 31, 1924

Langston enrolls at Columbia University in September study engineering as agreed with his father but becomes involved with writers in Harlem and publishes "The Negro Speaks of Rivers". He drops out of Columbia University travels to Africa, Holland, and Paris.

Returned to the U.S

November 1, 1924

In November 1924, Hughes returned to the U. S. to live with his mother in Washington, D.C.

"Weary Blues"

December 1,1925

Hughes wins the Opportunity Magazine poetry contest for "The Weary Blues"

Published at last

December 5,1926

The Weary Blues is published by Alfred Knopf and Hughes enrolls in Lincoln University, a HBCU in Chester County, Pennsylvania

Second Book

December 12, 1927

Hughes second book of poems, Fine Clothes to the Jew, is published by Alfred Knopf

Receives Degree

December 20, 1929

Hughes receives a B.A. degree from Lincoln University

His Work

January 6, 1930 - February 9, 1935

Hughes publishes his novel, Not Without Laughter, The Dream Keeper and Other Poems
The Ways of White Folks, a collection of short stories, is published
Hughes's play, "Mulatto," opens on Broadway

Fame in Politics

January 8,1932

He goes to the Soviet Union to make a film depicting the plight of many blacks living in the United States

Travels to Spain

March 3, 1937

-Langston Hughes travels to Spain as a correspondent for the Baltimore Afro-American and other various African American newspapers

First Autobiography

April 5, 1941

Hughes establishes his theatre troupe in Los Angeles and publishes The Big Sea, his first autobiography

Started Writing Columns

April 20, 1943

Hughes begins writing columns for the Chicago Defender.

Years at Chicago university

May 18, 1949

He spent three months at the integrated University of Chicago Laboratory Schools as a "Visiting Lecturer on Poetry"

Simply speaking his mind about his poetry

May 20, 1950 - June 15, 1951

Simple Speaks His Mind, a collection of short fiction, is published.
Hughes publishes Montage of a Dream Deferred, a collection of poetry.

Second book made successful

August 12, 1956

I Wonder As I Wander, Hughes's second autobiography, is published.

Award from NAACP!

September 30, 1960

The NAACP awards Langston Hughes the Spingarn Medal for distinguished achievements by an African American

He was * Inducted*

October 16, 1961

Hughes was inducted into the National Institute of Arts and Letters and publishes Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz, a collection of poetry


May 22, 1967

Hughes Died May 22, 1967 (aged 65) in New York, United States
Hughes' Panther and the Lash was posthumously published

Accomplishments after death

June 25, 1973

The first Langston Hughes Medal was awarded by the City College of New York.