Paul Laurence Dunbar was born June 27, 1872 in Dayton, Ohio. He died there on February 9, 1906. Dunbar was the first African-American poet to garner national critical acclaim. He penned a large body of dialect poems, standard English poems, essays, novels, and short stories, before he died at age 33. His work often addressed the difficulties encountered by members of his race and the efforts of African-Americans to achieve equality in America. He was praised both by the prominent literary critics of his time and by his literary contemporaries.