Thursday, December 1, 2005

Fanny Ellison (1911-2005)

From this morning's New York Times:

Fanny McConnell Ellison, who was involved in the theater, politics and civil rights before she married Ralph Ellison and helped him edit his masterpiece, "Invisible Man," died on Nov. 19 at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan. She was 93.

The cause was complications of hip surgery, said John F. Callahan, Ellison's literary executor.

The poet Langston Hughes arranged for her to meet Ellison after she said she yearned to meet a man who was interested in books. She had met Hughes while directing a production of his "Don't You Want to Be Free?" in Chicago put on by the Negro People's Theater, which she had founded.

In June 1944, Ellison, then a merchant seaman, and his future wife met at Frank's restaurant on 125th Street in Harlem; both ordered the cheapest item on the menu, and talked until the place closed. They were married from August 1946 until Ellison's death at 80 in April 1994.
LINK: "Fanny Ellison, 93, Dies; Helped Husband Edit 'Invisible Man'" (from the New York Times)

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