The grandmother of Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) was an enslaved African. His father a was general in the French army at the age of 31, "the first soldier of Afro-Antilles origin to reach that rank," according to Wikipedia. Dumas did fairly well himself, writing classics like The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. His works have been published in over 100 languages and have been turned into more than 200 movies. His former country home is now a Dumas museum, and in 2002 his ashes were reinterred in the Panthéon of Paris, an overdue honor. There is also a Paris Métro stop named after him. Not a bad career, one could say.