American writer James Baldwin was born August 2, 1924 in Harlem, New York City. He was the oldest of nine; his younger siblings were all half-siblings and his stepfather was harsher on Baldwin than on the rest of the children. His unusual intelligence--combined with the persecution of his stepfather--caused Baldwin to spend much of his time alone in libraries. By the time Baldwin had reached age fourteen, he had discovered his passion for writing. During his young adult years, his talent for language did not go unnoticed. His educators deemed him gifted—and in 1937, at the age of thirteen, he wrote his first article titled, “Harlem—Then and Now” which was published in the school’s magazine, The Douglass Pilot.