James Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His parents divorced when he was little, and his father moved to Mexico. Langston and his brother(John mercer Langston)were raised by his grandmother until he was thirteen, when he moved to Lincoln, Illinois, to live with his mother and her husband, before the family eventually moved to Cleveland, Ohio. It was in Lincoln, Illinois, that Hughes began writing poetry. After graduation, he spent a year in Mexico and a year at Columbia University. During these years, he held odd jobs as an assistant cook and a busboy, and traveled to Africa and Europe working as a seaman. In November 1924, he moved to Washington, D.C. Hughes’s first book of poetry, The Weary Blues. He finished his college education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania three years later. In 1930 his first novel, Not without Laughter, won the Harmon gold medal for literature. He also wrote morning after and song for a dark girl and was followed by winning the anisfeld-wolfe award for best book on racial relations. He died of prostate cancer on May 22,1967.