Ralph Ellison

Ralph Waldo Ellison (March 1, 1914 – April 16, 1994

 

Ralph Ellison was inducted into the Jazz category of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame posthumously in 2014, and the Oklahoma-born musician-turned-writer was a novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer. Best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953, Ellison also wrote Shadow and Act—a collection of political, social, and critical essays—and Going to the Territory.  From an early age Ellison loved music, and expected to be a musician and composer. Although drawn to jazz and jazz musicians, Ellison studied classical music and the symphonic form, before turning to literature. Ellison died in 1994 of pancreatic cancer, though he continued to contribute his art to the community posthumously. After his death, more manuscripts were found in his home that were later published and recognized with critical success.