Born Frederick August Kittel, Jr., in 1945, August Wilson grew up in Pittsburgh's Hill District. Wilson dropped out of school at the age of 16, working odd jobs while fostering his love of literature at the Carnegie Library. Reading the works of Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison inspired Wilson to become a writer. He ultimately became a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright for his series of ten plays, known as the Pittsburgh Cycle, which depict the African-American experience in the 20th century. A highly regarded and recognized writer, Wilson was also the recipient of the Whiting and Heinz Awards before his death in 2005.