August Wilson Biography | Author of Two Trains Running

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Ethnicity 1: African American

Nationality 1: American

Birthdate: 1945

Deathdate: 2005

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 27, 1945, August Wilson was the fourth of six children in a poor mixed-race family. He was named after his father Frederick August Kittel, a white German, but Kittel never lived with the family, and Wilson's mother Daisy Wilson, a cleaning woman, later married David Bedford, an ex-convict who had spent twenty-three years in prison after killing a man during a robbery. The character Troy Maxson of Fences is based on Bedford, and this play serves as an indication of the tense relationship between Wilson and his stepfather.

Wilson attended Catholic school but encountered severe racial abuse and changed schools twice. He quit public school after a history teacher accused him of plagiarizing a term paper. He began to read literature by various writers, including Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, and Dylan Thomas. Wilson briefly joined...

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This section contains 520 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Two Trains Running Study Guide
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