Ralph Ellison (March 1, 1914 - April 16, 1994) was an American scholar and writer.
He was born Ralph Waldo Ellison in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, named by his father after Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ellison was best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He also wrote Shadow and Act (1964) and Going To the Territory (1986)
In 1970, Ellison was made a Professor at New York University.
Ralph Ellison died of pancreatic cancer on 16 April 1994 and is buried in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.
Five years after his death, under the editorship of John Callahan, a professor at Lewis and Clark College and Ellison's literary executor, Ellison's second novel, Juneteenth, was published. It was a 368-page condensation of over 2000 pages written over a period of forty years.