Paul Laurence Dunbar
Accomplished poet, novelist and playwright Paul Laurence Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872 in Dayton, Ohio to former slaves. In his short life of only 33 years, Dunbar became one the first African American poets to achieve national and international notoriety. Dunbar completed four collected volumes of short stories, four novels, three published plays, lyrics for thirteen songs, fourteen books of poetry and over 400 published poems with his writings featured in many national publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and Saturday Evening Post.
The lyrics for the first Broadway musical produced by African Americans “In Dahomey” in 1903 were written by Dunbar. He was able to create an amazing amount of literary work before he died of tuberculosis on February 9, 1906.