James Baldwin Birthday & Fun Facts | Kidadl

James Baldwin Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

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James Baldwin Birthday Highlights

Birth Name
Place Of Birth
New York City, USA
99 years old
Birth Date
August 2 1924

James Baldwin Facts

Child Star?
Education & Qualifications
De Witt Clinton High School
Net Worth
Current Partner
Lucien Happersberger
Emma Berdis Jones, David Baldwin
George, Barbara Jamison, Wilmer, David Jr, Gloria Karefa-Smart, Ruth Crum, Elizabeth Dingle, Paula Whaley

About James Baldwin 

James Baldwin was an American author, essayist, playwright, and civil rights activist.
He wrote extensively about the African-American experience and racism in the United States. His novels and essays have been widely praised and studied.
Baldwin's work is important because it provides a unique perspective on race in America that is still relevant today. He wrote over 20 books throughout his career. Baldwin's writing addressed important social issues of his time, including racism and civil rights. He is considered one of the most influential black writers of the 20th century.
After his death, tributes poured in from around the world, hailing Baldwin as one of America's most significant literary icons.

James Baldwin's Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was James Baldwin's net worth?

Specific sources have estimated his net worth to have been around $85 million.

How much did James Baldwin earn per year?

There are no accurate estimates of how much James Baldwin earned per year through his books before his death.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was James Baldwin?

James Baldwin was of average stature, 5 ft 6 in (167.6 cm).

How old was James Baldwin?

James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924. He died aged 63 on December 1, 1987, at Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.

Childhood And Education

James Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York City, on August 2, 1924, to Emma Berdis Jones. He never knew his father, as Baldwin was born out of wedlock. He was raised by his mother and stepfather, David Baldwin. David Baldwin was a Baptist preacher and shared a somewhat complicated relationship with James due to their ideological differences. James Baldwin had eight siblings from his mother's marriage to David and a few step-siblings from David's previous marriage.
Baldwin began school at the age of five. He attended Public School 24 on 128th Street, Harlem, where his brilliance was identified and encouraged by teachers. He later attended Frederick Douglass Junior High School and graduated in 1938. It was here that he met the poet Countee Cullen, who taught French at the school. Baldwin had remarked that Cullen sparked his dream to live in France.
DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx is the high school that Baldwin attended. He worked on the school's magazine and graduated in 1941. His ambition was listed as 'novelist-playwright' in that year's yearbook.
His father died in 1943, and Baldwin had to juggle the emotional loss and his responsibilities as the eldest of nine children. This famous novelist used to work odd jobs during the day and sing at night to make ends meet and help his mother run the large household.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was James Baldwin's partner?

In 1949, James Baldwin met Swiss artist Lucien Happersberger, who was 17 at the time, after his move to Paris. The two fell in love and remained companions until Baldwin died in 1987. Three years after they met, they were separated for a brief period due to Happersberger's marriage to actor Diana Sands.
Happersberger was by Baldwin's side at his death in his Paris residence.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

James Baldwin was a novelist, playwright, essayist, and poet. Baldwin's experiences as a black man in America profoundly influenced his writing. He authored an expansive list of novels, short stories, and essay collections throughout his long career.
He was a controversial yet impactful writer during the period, a gay black man with a brilliant mind who was a keen social critic and spoke about racial segregation and politics in the United States. He is best known for his novel 'Go Tell It On The Mountain' (1953). This was James Baldwin's first novel and it was published in 1953. The novel was featured in Time magazine's list of 100 best English-language novels released from 1923 to 2005.
Other famous works include these books of essays 'Notes Of A Native Son' (1955), 'Nobody Knows My Name' (1961), and 'The Fire Next Time' (1963).
The collection 'Notes Of A Native Son' alluded to the novel of the same name, 'Native Son' by Richard Wright. James Baldwin had developed a friendship with the writer that lasted several years. Baldwin discussed several social stigmas through his novels, and many of his works have characters with different sexual identities.

What awards had James Baldwin won?

Baldwin received several awards and honors for his thoughts and work. Given below are a few of his significant accomplishments.
He won Guggenheim Fellowship (1954), Eugene F. Saxton Memorial Trust Award, Foreign Drama Critics Award, George Polk Memorial Award (1963), MacDowell fellowships in 1954, 1958, and 1960, and Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur (1986).

James Baldwin's Hobbies And Interests

James Baldwin was a lover of the arts. From music to theater, he enjoyed everything and took part in such performances himself. Baldwin was also a singer, and he used to perform in his early years. His voice was described as being ‘heartfelt.’
At the time of his death, James Baldwin had amassed a massive album collection that consisted of all genres and artists.

Other Interesting James Baldwin Facts And Trivia

  • Although he ended up leaving the church, his sermons there formed a basis for his style of speech and writing.
  • Baldwin met Martin Luther King on his trip to the southern states of the USA in 1957.
  • Baldwin moved to Paris as he couldn't tolerate the increasingly volatile racial situation in the United States. Later, he purchased a home in southern France and made it his primary residence.
  • During the early years of his move to Paris, Baldwin was a regular transatlantic commuter as he wanted to stay close to his family.
  • He also taught at UMass Amherst from 1985 to 1986, after which he came back to France.
  • At the time of his death, Baldwin was working on a manuscript for a novel called ‘Remember This House.’
  • He died of stomach cancer on December 1, 1987.
  • The unfinished manuscript was developed into a film titled 'I Am Not Your Negro' in 2016 by director Raoul Peck.
  • This critically acclaimed film was nominated for the 89th Academy Awards in the category ‘Best Documentary Feature.’
  • James Baldwin is featured on a commemorative US postage stamp from the Literary Arts series. The stamp was issued on June 23, 2004.
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