Langston Hughes Timeline
Timeline Description: Langston Hughes was a 20th century author and poet. He is most known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. An important part of his work was pride in the African American race. Hughes was one of the creators of jazz poetry.

Date Event
February 1, 1902 Langston Hughes is born in Joplin, Missouri.

Langston Hughes is born to Carrie Langston Hughes and James Nathaniel Hughes in Joplin, Missouri. Carrie is a law clerk and James wants to be a lawyer but has trouble starting a law firm because he is African American.
1903 Hughes lives with his grandmother in Lawrence, Kansas.

After his parents separate, Hughes is taken to Lawrence, Kansas to live with his grandmother, Mary Langston. His mother sometimes lives with them, too, but most of the time she moves around looking for work.
1914 Hughes' grandmother dies.

After his grandmother dies, Hughes moves to Lincoln, Illinois to live with his mother. She has married a man named Homer Clark, who is now Hughes' stepfather.
1916 Hughes moves to Cleveland, Ohio.

After his stepfather finds work in the steel mills there, the family moves to Cleveland, Ohio. Hughes will remain Cleveland for the next four years and graduate from high school there.
June 1920 Hughes goes to Mexico to see his father and writes "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."

After graduating from high school, Hughes moves to Mexico to be with his father. On the train ride to Mexico, he writes the poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."
June 1921 "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is published for the first time.

In what would become his signature poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is published in The Crisis. The poem is about an African American's pride in his African heritage.
September 1921 Hughes moves to New York City to go to college.

Hughes moves to New York when he is accepted at Columbia University. His father agrees to pay for college only if he studies engineering, but Hughes drops out of school after two semesters.
1923 Hughes joins the crew of the S.S. Malone.

Hughes takes a job on the ship the S.S. Malone. He traveled for six months before taking a job as a cook in Paris.
November 1924 Hughes gets his first big break as a writer.

While he is working as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., Hughes sees the poet Vachel Lindsay sitting at a table. Hughes gives him some of his own poems and Lindsay puts him in contact with the Knopf Publishing Company.
1926 "The Weary Blues" is published.

Hughes' first book of poetry, "The Weary Blues," is published by Knopf. The book is an amazing success and Hughes makes enough money off of it to return to college, this time at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.
1929 Hughes graduates from college.

Hughes graduates from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After he graduates, he moves to New York City, which he calls home for the rest of his life.
1935 Hughes wins the Guggenheim Fellowship.

Because of his outstanding creative writing, Hughes wins the Guggenheim Fellowship. This gives him money to allow him to concentrate on writing and soon after that, his play "The Mulatto" opens on Broadway.
1937 Hughes works as a reporter and covers the Spanish Civil War.

Working for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, Hughes is a reporter at the Spanish Civil War in Spain. He met Ernest Hemingway there and he published his book about the Spanish Civil War, "For Whom the Bell Tolls," three years later.
1946 Hughes is elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

After over 20 years of writing poems, plays, screenplays, and novels, Hughes is elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. It is a very distinguished institute that only allows 250 people to be in at one time.
1947 Hughes starts his career as a teacher.

Hughes accepts his first teaching job when he creative writing at Atlanta University. Two years later he spends a year teaching at the University of Chicago.
1960 Hughes wins the Spingarn Medal.

In honor of his amazing career as a writer, Hughes wins the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. The medal is given ever year to honor an African American for outstanding achievement and other winners include Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill Cosby, and, Rosa Parks.
May 22, 1965 Hughes dies in New York.

Langston Hughes dies after having surgery for prostate cancer. His ashes are buried in the floor of the Arthur Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.