Honorary TEDster: August Wilson, 1945 – 2005

Augustwilson1When Radio Golf opened this year at the Yale Repertory Theater, we knew it was the right moment to invite August Wilson to TED. Who better to talk about creating the future than the charismatic Wilson, who set out in 1985 to write a series of ground-breaking plays, chronicling the lives of African Americans in each decade of the 20th century? What better moment than after the final installation of his monumentally ambitious 10-play cycle? Sadly, a TED appearance was not to be. Wilson was diagnosed with incurable liver cancer before our invitation went out; he died last week, at the age of 60. Though we won’t have the great joy of bringing him to the TED stage, we humbly honor him here. His Tony (for Fences) and two Pulitzers (Fences, The Piano Lesson) didn’t begin to reward him for the extraordinary contribution he made to American theater and history, alike.