James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue." He won numerous awards such as the Witter Bynner Undergraduate Poetry Prize in 1926, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1935, the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP in 1960 and the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1961, to name a few.