Wright, the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of slaves, became a respected author, best known for his novel Native Son (1940) and the autobiographical Black Boy (1945). His works dealt with the poverty, anger, and protest of northern urban Blacks.
In May of 1946 he traveled to France as a guest of the French government, where he was well-received by French intellectuals.
Richard Wright died in Paris of a heart attack, unexpectedly, at the age of 52.
A different Richard Wright, also known as Rick Wright, is the keyboard player of Pink Floyd.