This Day in Black History: April 27, 1945

Playwright August Wilson was born in Pittsburgh.

Posted: 04/27/2013 07:00 AM EDT

On April 27, 1945, celebrated playwright August Wilson was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Studying African-American writers like Ralph Ellison and Langston Hughes as a child, Wilson gravitated to the written word and eventually began submitting poetry pieces to various publications in his 20s. As a playwright, his best known works include the play Fences (1985), which won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, and The Piano Lesson (1990), which also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

His biggest achievement was his 10-play series entitled The Pittsburgh Cycle, which chronicled the trials and tribulations of the African-American experience, decade by decade, in the 20th century. The series earned him to two more Pulitzer Prize Awards.

He passed away from liver cancer on Oct. 2, 2005 at age 60.

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