Born: 4 September 1908
Died: 28 November 1960 (heart attack)
Birthplace: Adams County, Mississippi
Best known as: Author of Native Son
Richard Wright's 1940 novel Native Son was a best-seller and is still considered a classic of modern American literature. One of the most influential African-American writers of the 20th century, Wright grew up in Mississippi and Tennessee, then ended up in Chicago at the age of 19. Self-educated, he turned to writing poetry and short stories. He received critical attention for his first book, Uncle Tom's Children (1938). After World War II Wright, disillusioned with race relations in the U.S., settled permanently in France. His other works include Black Boy (1945), The Outsider (1953) and a posthumously published collection of stories, Eight Men (1960).
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