James Mercer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri. A poet and novelist, he became known as the “Shakespeare of Harlem” during the 1920s and 1930s.
Originally from the Midwest, Hughes traveled the world and worked in a great variety of jobs. He is especially well-known for his perceptive and sympathetic portrayals of life in black America.
Learn more about Langston Hughes with Masterpiece's Langston Hughes biography.
Photo: Langston Hughes photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1936 (Wikimedia Commons).