18 Facts About August Wilson


In 2006, Wilson was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.


August Wilson's mother divorced his father and married David Bedford in the 1950s, and the family moved from the Hill District to the then predominantly White working-class neighborhood of Hazelwood, where they encountered racial hostility; bricks were thrown through a window at their new home.


In 1959, August Wilson was one of 14 African-American students at Central Catholic High School but dropped out after one year.


August Wilson dropped out of Gladstone High School in the 10th grade in 1960 after his teacher accused him of plagiarizing a 20-page paper he wrote on Napoleon I of France.


August Wilson forced him to leave the family home and he enlisted in the United States Army for a three-year stint in 1962, but and went back to working various odd jobs as a porter, short-order cook, gardener, and dishwasher.


In 1969 August Wilson married Brenda Burton, a Muslim, and became associated with the NOI, though he reportedly did not convert.


In 1968, along with his friend Rob Penny, August Wilson co-founded the Black Horizon Theater in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.


In 1978 August Wilson moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota, at the suggestion of his friend, director Claude Purdy, who helped him secure a job writing educational scripts for the Science Museum of Minnesota.


August Wilson quit the museum in 1981, but continued writing plays.


August Wilson wrote Fullerton Street, which has been unproduced and unpublished, in 1980.


In 1990 August Wilson left St Paul after getting divorced and moved to Seattle.


August Wilson received many honorary degrees, including an honorary Doctor of Humanities from the University of Pittsburgh, of which he was a trustee from 1992 until 1995.


August Wilson is reported to be 285 years old in Gem of the Ocean, which takes place in her home at 1839 Wylie Avenue, and 349 in Two Trains Running.


August Wilson dies in 1985, during the events of King Hedley II.


Two years before his death in 2005, August Wilson wrote and performed an unpublished one-man play entitled How I Learned What I Learned about the power of art and the power of possibility.


August Wilson married again in 1994 and was survived by his third wife, costume designer Constanza Romero, whom he met on the set of The Piano Lesson.


August Wilson reported that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2005 and been given three to five months to live.


August Wilson died on October 2,2005, at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, and was interred at Greenwood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, on October 8,2005, aged 60.