Jack Kerouac March 12, 1922 - October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist. Along with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, he is amongst the best known of the writers (and friends) known as the Beat Generation.
Kerouac's work was popular, but received little critical acclaim during his lifetime. Today, he is considered an important and influential writer who inspired others, including Tom Robbins, Lester Bangs, Richard Brautigan, and Ken Kesey, and writers of the New Journalism. Kerouac also influenced musicians such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Morrissey, Simon & Garfunkel, and Jim Morrison. Kerouac's best-known books are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.
Kerouac spent many of the years between 1947 and 1951 on the road, although he often spent extended periods at his mother's home and in the Florida home he purchased for her.
Kerouac's search for a life worth living in the 1950's led him to recreational drug use and to travel, not only across the North America but throughout the world. His writing is credited as catalyst for the 1960s counterculture which Kerouac himself disdained.
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