: Paul Laurence Dunbar, seated center, and his mother Matilda, seated in rocking chair, pictured with other relatives, ca. 1890-1900. Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1872 to Joshua and Matilda Dunbar, both former slaves, and was encouraged by his mother in poetry and his schooling from an early age. He attended Dayton Central High School and was the sole African American student at that time. Following his high school graduation, Dunbar worked as an elevator operator while writing poetry in his free time. He built a reputation as a successful literary voice and writer of dialect poetry, and was the first African American poet to receive critical acclaim for his work. Dunbar authored twelve collections of poetry, five novels, one play, and a large number of newspaper articles before his death from tuberculosis on February 9, 1906. He is buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Dayton. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL05262 Subjects
: Authors, American--Ohio; Dunbar, Paul Laurence, 1872-1906; African American Ohioans; Literary Ohio; Families Places
: Dayton (Ohio); Montgomery County (Ohio)