Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Dunbars in:
 • Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum
 • Dayton
 • Montgomery County
 • Ohio
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Birth: Jun. 27, 1872
Montgomery County
Ohio, USA
Death: Feb. 9, 1906
Montgomery County
Ohio, USA

Poet. Born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of former slaves from Kentucky, he went on to become one of the first nationally-renowned African-American poets. His father Joshua, an escaped slave who served in the Civil War, left the family in 1874. His mother Matilda supported the family as a washerwoman, even working for the Wright family; Orville Wright went to school with young Paul. His mother loved poetry and encouraged him to read. He was the only African-American in his high school class. He joined the debate team, edited the school paper, and served as president of the literary society. While struggling as a writer and journalist, he worked as an elevator operator in Dayton. With the help of the Wright brothers, he published his own newsletter, "The Dayton Tattler", intended for an African-American audience. With the help of a former teacher, he gave his first public poetry reading on his birthday in 1892. A journalist was impressed enough that he published a letter of praise in various newspapers, garnering significant national attention for the young poet. He published his first book of poems, "Oak and Ivy", in 1892. A year later, he spoke at the World's Fair and met Frederick Douglass, who called him "the most promising young colored man in America." He moved to Toledo, Ohio the same year and published his second book, "Majors and Minors." The book was a success, prompting further publications, and he was invited to present poetry in England. After returning, he married a young writer and teacher named Alice Ruth Moore. He took a job at the Library of Congress in Washington for a short time but soon he and his wife separated. He died of tuberculosis at age 33 after publishing a dozen books, including novels and plays. His poetry combines an interest in traditional poetic styles of the Old World with a more modern African-American dialect and voice. His varied poetic voice made his work appeal to all Americans, black and white, scholars and general readers alike. (bio by: Midnightdreary) 
Family links: 
  Joshua Dunbar (____ - 1885)
  Matilda Jane Dunbar (1845 - 1934)
  Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 - 1906)
  Elizabeth Florence Dunbar (1873 - 1876)*
*Calculated relationship
Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum
Montgomery County
Ohio, USA
Plot: section 101 lot 3465
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 307
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Added by: Cinnamonntoast4
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Added by: Terry Baer
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Added by: Terry Baer
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- cole
 Added: Oct. 23, 2015
- Jan
 Added: Feb. 9, 2015
- Jan
 Added: Feb. 9, 2015
There are 99 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.1 after 56 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service