Richard Nathaniel Wright was born on Sept. 4, 1908, on a plantation near Natchez, Miss.
His father was a mill hand, and his mother taught in a country school. Young Wright's childhood was generally one of poverty, frustration, and despair.
At 15 he left home and for several years drifted from one city to another, working at whatever jobs he could find.
In 1937 Wright moved to New York City, where he worked on a Federal Writers' Project.
His first published book, `Uncle Tom's Children' , appeared in 1938. Wright's novel `Native Son' (1940) that brought him world fame.
Wright's first marriage--to a ballet dancer--ended in divorce. In 1941 he married Ellen Poplar of New York City, and they had two daughters. He also wrote some travel books and other nonfiction.
On Nov. 28, 1960, Richard Wright died in Paris of a heart attack.