W. E. B. Du Bois, (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, African American activist, historian, and sociologist, was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1868. He was educated at Fisk University, Harvard, and in Germany, receiving a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1895. His subsequent career involved several academic posts at Atlanta University, during which he wrote such works as The Souls of Black Folk, John Brown, Black Reconstruction in America, and Dusk of Dawn. He divided his Atlanta University appointments with an extended tenure at the NAACP both in administration and as editor of its magazine, Crisis. Late in his life he was drawn into support for Communism, convinced that it was the only way to secure equal rights for black Americans. He left the United States in 1961 to live in Ghana, became a citizen of that country two years later, and died shortly thereafter in 1963.