Horace Cayton was born and grew up in Seattle , Washington. His grandparents were variously, an ex-slave, a United States Senator (the first Negro to hold this office), a mulatto Quaker girl, and ""a proud white plantation owner's daughter."" His father owned a newspaper; he knew comfortable circumstances when young. But, restless, Horace signed aboard ship at sixteen, and embarked upon a life that saw him wandering from West to East, high living to low, and back. Early on, he served as houseboy in a Ketchican bordelle, took to crime and landed in a training school . A little later, he returned to school , took on the task of deputy, married a white girl. In Chicago in the '30's, he returned after trips to the South and Europe to become a ""race leader, race man."" As he runs through his women, his analysis and crack-up , his New York abyss and recovery to become a reporter on the UN beat, his concern with race is always present. His writing, however, deals in personal terms, with a candor sometimes bordering on the salacious, often on the sensational, and it reads with a fictional flair. Mr. Cayton is currently teaching in the Extension of the University of California.