Nuyorican author, born Juan Pedro Tomas to a Puerto Rican mother and Cuban father in El Barrio, Spanish Harlem, on September 30, 1928. He is best known for his autobiographical novel “Down These Mean Streets.” Other works include “Savior, Savior Hold My Hand,” “Seven Long Times,” and “Stories from El Barrio.”
Piri Thomas traveled around the country as well as Central America and Europe, giving lectures and conducting workshops in colleges and universities. He was the subject of a film “Every Child is Born a Poet: The Life and Work of Piri Thomas,” by Jonathan Robinson. Thomas died from pneumonia at his home in El Cerrito, California on October 17, 2011.
We express our condolences to the Thomas family.