Novelist, playwright, and short story writer Langston Hughes was born in Joplin. A key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes is considered one of the greatest American poets and a literary icon.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.