John Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet and an award winning author of 5 books
Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missuri. His parents were divorced when he was young and his father moved to Mexico. His grandmother raised him until he was thirteen and then he went to live with his mother and her new husband in Lincoln, Illinoise. This is when he began writing poetry. He eventually graduated from high school and then spent a year in Mexico. Then he went to Columbia University for a year, during this time he was an assistant cook, lauderer, and busboy.
In November 1924, Hughes moved to Washington D.C. 2 years later he completed his first book of poetry, "The Weary Blues". He finished his college education at Lincoln University 3 years later. In 1930 he completed his first novel, "Not Without Laughter". His novel won the Harmon Gold Metal for literature
Critic Donald B. Gibson noted that Hughes "differed from most of his predecessors among black poets." Hughes spread the message humorously, but still seriously to audiences around the country. Hughes having read his poetry possibly to more people than any other American poet. Hughes died on May 22, 1967. He died of complications from prostate cancer.