From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Cullen, Countee LeRoy

(born: 1903  -  died: 1946) 

Countee L. Cullen was probably born in Louisville, KY, but his birthplace is also given as New York. Cullen was unofficially adopted by Rev. Frederick and Carolyn Cullen; his last name was Porter prior to the adoption. Cullen earned his bachelor's degree from New York University, his master's from Harvard University. During his prime he was the most popular African American poet and literary figure of his time. He won more literary prizes than all other African American poets in the 1920s. Cullen had won his first contest in high school with the poem, "I Have a Rendezvous With Life." His first wife, Yolande DuBois, was the daughter of W. E. B. DuBois. His most famous student (he taught high school) was James Baldwin. For more see the Countee Cullen Papers at Dillard University's Will W. Alexander Archives, and Countee Cullen and the Negro Renaissance, by B. E. Ferguson.

See photo image and additional information about Countee L. Cullen at Poetry Foundation website.

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NKAA Source: Countee Cullen and the Negro renaissance

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“Cullen, Countee LeRoy,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-11-03 13:19:04