Ralph Ellison

civil rights leader

The research paragraph

Ralph Waldo Ellison was born on March 1, 1914, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and named after journalist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ellison's doting father, Lewis, who loved children and read books voraciously, worked as an ice and coal deliverer. He died from a work-related accident when Ellison was only three years old. His mother Ida then raised Ralph and younger brother Herbert by herself, working a variety of jobs to make ends meet. His education is Tuskegee University. His occupation an Academic, Author, Educator, and literary critics. Ellison started writing what would become The Invisible Man while at a friend's farm in Vermont. The existential novel, published in 1952, focused on an African-American civil rights worker from the South who, upon his move to New York, becomes increasingly alienated due to the racism he encounters. Upon its release, Invisible Man became a runaway hit, remaining on bestseller lists for weeks and winning the National Book Award the following year. Ellison traveled throughout Europe in the mid-1950s, and lived in Rome for two years after becoming an American Academy fellow. He continued writing—publishing a collection of essays in 1964, Shadow and Act—and taught at colleges and universities, including Bard College and New York University. He published his second collection of essays, going to the Territory, in 1986, yet was stalled over the decades from completing his second novel, which he envisioned as a great American saga. Ellison died from pancreatic cancer in New York City on April 16, 1994. The novel that had been working on prior to his death was released posthumously in 1999 and titled Juneteenth, with final shaping done by his literary executor, John Callahan, at the behest of McConnell. Three Days Before the Shooting, released in 2010, offered a more comprehensive look at how the novel was shaped along with a look at Ellison's full manuscript. Ellison later enlisted as a Merchant Marine cook during World War II. Married briefly before, in 1946 he wed Fanny McConnell, and the two would remain together for the rest of Ellison's life.

Ralph Ellison

a paragraph about Ralph Ellison

Ellison started writing what would become The Invisible Man while at a friend's farm in Vermont. The existential novel, published in 1952, focused on an African-American civil rights worker from the South who, upon his move to New York, becomes increasingly alienated due to the racism he encounters. Upon its release, Invisible Man became a runaway hit, remaining on bestseller lists for weeks and winning the National Book Award the following year. With millions of copies eventually printed, the novel would be regarded as a groundbreaking meditation on race and marginalized communities in America, influencing future generations of writers and thinkers.