Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Lorraine Hansberry  

Pen Name: LHN


Audience: Adult;

Born: May 5, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois

Died: January 12, 1965 in New York City, New York

-- Lorraine Hansberry on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

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''.


Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990 Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2010

Selected Titles At Your Library

A raisin in the sun /
ISBN: 0679755330. OCLC Number: 30594339

Vintage Books,. .

When it was first produced in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for that season and hailed as a watershed in American drama. A pioneering work by an African-American playwright, the play was a radically new representation of black life. "A play that changed American theater forever."

Lorraine Hansberry's The sign in Sidney Brustein's window :
ISBN: 0573615411. OCLC Number: 13751350

S. French,. .

To be young, gifted, and Black :
ISBN: 0679764151. OCLC Number: 34018930

Vintage Books,. .

A selection of prose, dramatic writings, and drawings done by African-American playwright Lorraine Hansberry, which, combined with other fiction and non-fiction commentary, provide insight into her life, thoughts, feelings, and career.