Celebrated on the Illinois State Library Gwendolyn Brooks Building
Pen Name: LHN
Born: May 5, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: January 12, 1965 in New York City, New York
Hansberry was born in and grew up in Chicago.
Biographical and Professional Information
Lorraine Hansberry was an American playwright and author. She grew up in Chicago, where her father, a real estate broker, fought a long legal battle against codes that enforced racial segregation in her all-white neighborhood. The case went to the Supreme Court. This experience inspired her most famous work, A Raisin in the Sun, a study of a black family in Chicago and was the first play by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. It won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, and the 1961 film version won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival. Before her untimely death from cancer, she also wrote, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window.
Her ex-husband, Robert Nemiroff, assembled a posthumous collection of Hansberry's letters and diary entries titled, To Be Young Gifted and Black.
- A Raisin in the Sun, Columbia, 1960
- The Sign in Signey Brustein's Window, 1964
- To Be Young, Gifted and Black, Lorraine Hansberry in Her Own Words, Prentice-Hall, 1969 - posted posthumously.
Titles at Your Library
- Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990
- Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2010
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