Photographer unknown, 1936
Erowid Character Vaults
Feb 5, 1914 - 6:50pm Aug 2, 1997
William Seward Burroughs was born in St. Louis, MO, heir to the Burroughs business machine fortune. He was a Harvard-educated sometime medical student, private detective, exterminator, artist, and writer. In the late 1950s he became associated with Beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. He later lived mostly in Paris and Tangier, Morocco, and admitted to being addicted to heroin. He wrote more than two dozen books on the controversial topics of homosexuality, science fiction, drug culture, and the underworld. Some of his later works experimented radically with language. His best known work is The Naked Lunch.
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