Author; university professor; military officer. Born June 12, 1916, Nokomis (Escambia County), Alabama. Parents– John Lee and Sudie Young. Married Mozelle Menefee, May 31, 1941. Children– one. Education–Tuskegee Institute, B.S., 1941; New York University, M. A., 1948; postgraduate work at the University of Michigan, 1940; Northwestern University, 1941; University of Paris, 1950. Served in the U.S. Air Force, 1943-62; retired as major. After retirement from the Air Force wrote novels, nonfiction, and criticism; an important figure on the New York literary scene and a friend and associate of Ralph Ellison and other influential authors and thinkers. Participated in many literary symposia and served as writer in residence at many universities, including Columbia, the University of Massachusetts, Barnard College, Drew University, and others. Member International PEN, Authors League of America, Authors Guild, and Alpha Phi Alpha. Received the Lillian Smith Award for Fiction in 1974; the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for music criticism, 1976; Lincoln Center Directors Emeritii Award, 1991; the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle, 1996; Distinguished Artist Award, Alabama State Council on the Arts, 2003; honorary doctorates from Colgate University, 1975, and Spring Hill College, 1996. Elected to the inaugural class of the Alabama Authors Hall of Fame, 2015. Died August 18, 2013.
Contemporary Authors online; obituary, 20 August 2013.
Train Whistle Guitar. McGraw, 1974.
The Omni-Americans: New Perspectives on Black Experience and American Culture. New York: Outerbridge and Dienstrfrey, 1970.
South to a Very Old Place. New York: McGraw, 1972.
The Hero and the Blues. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1973.
Stomping the Blues. New York: McGraw, 1976.
Reflections on Logic, Politics, and Reality: A Challenge to the Sacred Consensus of Contemporary American Thinking. Riverdale, NY: Braimanna Publishers, 1989.
The Spyglass Tree. Pantheon, 1991.
The Blue Devils of Nada: A Contemporary American Approach to Aesthetic Statements. New York: Pantheon, 1996.
The Seven League Boots. Pantheon, 1996.
Conversations with Albert Murray. Kackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997.
Conjugations and Reiterations. Pantheon, 2001.
From the Briarpatch File: On Context, Procedure, and American Identity. New York: Pantheon, 2001.
The Magic Keys. Pantheon, 2005.
Good Morning Blues; The Autobiography of Count Basie. New York; Random House, 1985.
Trading Twelves; The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray. New York; Modern Library, 2000.