Early life Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, 1902, to Carrie M. Langston and James N. Hughes. Hughes’ mother spent a great deal of time traveling, seeking out some form of employment. A major poet, Hughes also wrote novels, short stories, essays, and plays. His parents separated when he was very young. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri.

One of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of black intellectual, literary, and artistic life that took place in the 1920s in a number of American cities, particularly Harlem. His father moved to Mexico, and his mother left him for long periods of time in search of steady employment. Early Life. James Hughes was born on 1 February 1902 in Joplin, Missouri, to Native Americans with Afro-American ancestry. James Mercer Langston Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. Langston's Early Years Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri to two bookkeepers. His mother, Carrie Langston was a school teacher and his father was James Nathaniel Hughes.

Langston Hughes, American writer who was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and who vividly depicted the African American experience through his writings, which ranged from poetry and plays to novels and newspaper columns. This meant that Hughes was raised primarily by his grandmother. Hughes parents, James Nathaniel Hughes and Caroline Langston divorced soon after his birth. Shortly after his birth, his father abandoned their family and later filed for divorce. Early Life and Education His parents separated soon after his birth, and Hughes was raised mainly by his mother, his grandmother, and a childless couple, the Reeds. Childhood & Early Life. Learn more about Hughes’s life and work. James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1901 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri.He moved to New York City as a young man, where he made his career. James left the family and traveled throughout South America.