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US novelist Jack Kerouac (born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac in March 1922) named and epitomised the Beat Generation of the 1950s.
The first of his autobiographical, myth-making books, The Town and the City (1950), was followed by the rhapsodic On The Road (1957).
On The Road made Kerouac a beat icon, and he would publish twelve more novels during his life, in addition to numerous poetry volumes.
Other works written with similar free-wheeling energy and inspired by his interests in jazz and Buddhism include The Dharma Bums (1958), Doctor Sax (1959), and Desolation Angels (1965).
His major contribution to poetry was Mexico City Blues (1959).
Kerouac became a legendary symbol of youthful rebellion from the late 1950s, but before his early death from alcoholism, he had become a semi-recluse, unable to cope with his fame.
Kerouac passed away on 21 October 1969. He died from an abdominal haemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking.