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BHM Day 27: August Wilson


Playwright, August Wilson dropped out of high school at the age of 15, after a teacher accused him of plagiarism.  But apparently, he was such an avid reader and focused in studying on his own that Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh awarded him a degree.

He moved to St. Paul to be a poet and after years of struggling he wrote his first major play, Jitney. It earned him a fellowship at the Minneapolis Playwright Center.

A few years later his play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was accepted at the Eugene O’Neil Playwright’s Conference.

And in 1987, his play Fences debuted on Broadway, which he won both a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Drama. Wilson earned his second Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for The Piano Lesson.

He died of liver cancer just before the premier of Radio Golf.

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