Zora Neale Hurston was an African-American novelist, short story writer, folklorist, and anthropologist. Hurston was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, and died poor and alone on January 28, 1960, in Fort Pierce, Florida.
During her career, Hurston published four novels and numerous short stories, plays, and essays. She wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), which is considered her masterwork, alongside her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road (1942). Hurston was the first African-American female to receive a diploma from Barnard College, located in Harlem, in 1928. Considered the quintessential female writer during the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston has been a role model for all African-American women.