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DuBose Heyward
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Author
    (August 31, 1885-June 16, 1940)
    Born in Charleston, South Carolina
    Birth name was Edwin DuBose Heyward
    Best known for writing the novel 'Porgy' (1925), the play 'Porgy' (written with his wife Dorothy, 1927) and the opera 'Porgy and Bess' (written with George and Ira Gershwin, 1935)
    Also wrote the poetry collection 'Skyline and Horizons' (1924), the novel 'Mamba's Daughter' (1929), the play 'Brass Ankle' (1931), the screenplay for 'The Emperor Jones' (1933) and the children's book 'The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes' (1939)
    He was a self-described 'miserable student' who dropped out during his first year of high school.
    As an editor of a poetry magazine, he urged restraint in the use of local color and African-American material -- two of the main features of his most famous work.
    He doubted 'Porgy' could be made into a play until his wife secretly wrote a first draft (while telling him that she was working on a mystery novel).
    His contribution to 'Porgy and Bess' is overshadowed by the Gershwins.
    When he was two, his father died in an industrial accident.
    He co-founded a real estate and insurance business, discovered he had a talent for sales, then after becoming financially independent started pursuing an interest in literature.
    'Porgy' was described as 'the first major southern novel to portray blacks without condescension.'
    He insisted that the play 'Porgy' be cast with black actors instead of the then-standard practice of using whites in blackface.

Credit: C. Fishel


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