"Jack Kerouac Naval Reserve Enlistment, 1943" by USGov - National Archives. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

“Jack Kerouac Naval Reserve Enlistment, 1943” by USGov – National Archives. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jack_Kerouac_Naval_Reserve_Enlistment,_1943.png#/media/File:Jack_Kerouac_Naval_Reserve_Enlistment,_1943.png

Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac; March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.

"Jack Kerouac House - Orlando Florida". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

“Jack Kerouac House – Orlando Florida”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jack_Kerouac_House_-_Orlando_Florida.jpg#/media/File:Jack_Kerouac_House_-_Orlando_Florida.jpg

In July 1957, Kerouac moved to a small house at 1418½ Clouser Avenue in the College Park section of Orlando, to await the release of On the Road. Weeks later, a review of the book by Gilbert Millstein appeared in The New York Times proclaiming Kerouac the voice of a new generation. Kerouac was hailed as a major American writer. The success of On the Road brought Kerouac instant fame. His celebrity status brought publishers desiring unwanted manuscripts that were previously rejected before its publication. 

In 1969, aged 47, Kerouac died from internal bleeding due to long-term alcohol abuse. Since his death, Kerouac’s literary prestige has grown, and several previously unseen works have been published. All of his books are in print today, including The Town and the City, On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, The Subterraneans, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, The Sea Is My Brother, and Big Sur.