Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2022
Fanny McConnell Ellison’s influence threads throughout key literary and political milieus of twentieth century America. Educated at Fisk University and the University of Iowa, she was a columnist and writer for The Chicago Defender, founder of The Negro People’s Theater in Chicago, and political and Civil Rights activist before meeting Ralph Ellison, whom she later married, in 1946. Her income materially supported the couple while Ralph wrote Invisible Man, which Fanny (among others) helped edit. Her editorial advice on Ralph’s manuscripts as well as her care for his papers after his death substantially influenced his literary legacy.