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Ralph Waldo Ellison Edit Profile


Ralph Waldo Ellison, American writer. Decorated Chevalier de l'Ordre des Artes et Lettres France, 1970; recipient Presidential Medal of Freedom award United States, 1969, Langston Hughes medal, City College of New York, 1984, National Medal of Arts, 1985; Ralph Ellison Branch Library, Oklahoma City, named in his honor, 1975; Rosenwald fellow, 1945; National American Academy Arts and Letters fellow Rome, 1955-1957.


Ellison, Ralph Waldo was born on March 1, 1914 in Oklahoma City. Son of Lewis Alfred and Ida (Millsap) Ellison.


Student, Tuskegee Institute, 1936. Doctor of Philosophy in Humane Letters (honorary), 1963. Doctor of Letters (honorary), Rutgers University, 1966.

Doctor of Letters (honorary), University Michigan, 1967. Doctor of Letters (honorary), Williams College, 1970. Doctor of Letters (honorary), Long Island University, College William and Mary, 1972.

Doctor of Letters (honorary), Wake Forest University, 1974. Doctor of Letters (honorary), Harvard University, 1974. Doctor of Letters (honorary), Brown University, 1980.

Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Grinnell College, 1967. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Adelphi University, 1971.


Participant, New York City Writer's Project lecturer American Negro culture, folklore, creative writing, New York University lecturer American Negro culture, folklore, creative writing, Columbia University lecturer American Negro culture, folklore, creative writing, Fisk U. lecturer American Negro culture, folklore, creative writing, Antioch College lecturer American Negro culture, folklore, creative writing, Princeton University lecturer American Negro culture, folklore, creative writing, Bennington College, others teacher Russian, American literature, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, 1958-1961; Alexander White visiting professor, University of Chicago, 1961; visiting professor writing, Rutgers University, 1962-1964; Albert Schweitzer professor humanities, New York University, 1970-1979; Professor of English emeritus, New York University, 1979-1994. Honorary consultant in American letters Library of Congress, 1966-1972. Member CarnegieCommn.

Ednl. television, 1966-1967. Visiting fellow American studies Yale University, 1966. Bd.vis. Wake Forest U., 1972-1985.

Board advisors Ossabaw Island Project, 1972-1975.



Trustee John F. Kennedy Center Performing Arts, 1967-1977, New School Social Research, 1969-1982, Bennington College, 1970-1975, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1971-1984. Board directors Educational Broadcasting Corporation, 1968-1979, Museum City of New York, 1970-1985. National advisory council Hampshire College.

Member Carnegie Commission on Ednl.TV, 1966-1967, National Portrait Gallery Commission, National Council Arts. Served with United States Merchant Marine, 1943-1945. Member American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association, Institute Jazz Studies (board advisers), National Institute Arts and Letters (chairman literature grants committee 1964-1967), The Century Association.


Married Rose Aramita Poindexter, September 1938 (divorced, 1945). Married Fanny McConnell, July, 1946.

Lewis Alfred Ellison

Ida (Millsap) Ellison

Rose Aramita Poindexter

Fanny McConnell