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August Wilson

Age: 60

playwright, poet, and writer whose work focused on the struggles of African Americans. His plays, which were usually set in his native Pittsburgh, include Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984), Fences (1987), and The Piano Lesson (1990). He won Pulitzer Prizes for Fences and The Piano Lesson, a Tony for Fences, and seven New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. His most recent play, Radio Golf (2005), completed his cycle of ten dramas written over two decades.

Died: Seattle, Wash., Oct. 2, 2005

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