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(March 1, 1913-April 16, 1994) Born Ralph Waldo Ellison in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Educated at Frederick Douglass High School in Oklahoma City and at Tuskegee Institute (1933-36), where he studied music. Moved to New York in 1936; worked for Federal Writers' Project, researching history of African-Americans in Manhattan (1938-42), and edited Negro Quarterly (1942). To avoid the draft, worked as a cook in merchant marine (1943-45); published reviews and short stories. Invisible Man (1952), first novel, became bestseller and won National Book Award. Taught American literature at Bard College and New York University, and creative writing at Rutgers; published Shadow and Act (1964), a collection of essays, and Going to the Territory (1985), an anthology of essays and interviews. Died in New York. Flying Home (1996), a book of stories, and Juneteenth (1999), unfinished novel, published posthumously.