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Born in Oklahoma in 1914, Ellison developed an early interest in music, which he studied for three years at the Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama. He moved to New York in 1933, where he became acquainted with Langston Hughes and Richard Wright (1908–1960), who encouraged him during his beginning years as a thinker and writer. Ellison published his major novel, Invisible Man in 1952, and received the National Book Award in fiction for this work. He taught at a number of prestigious universities, including Harvard, and held a titled professorship in contemporary literature at New York University.
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