S. Burroughs was born on February 5, 1914 in ST. Louis, Missouri,
the grandson of the Burroughs Adding Machine inventor.
After his graduation from Harvard University, Burroughs lived in Chicago
and then New York, where he met two of the leading figures of the
Beat generation, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.
Burroughs began a criminal career, selling stolen goods and Syrettes
of morphine, which eventually led to his addiction to this powerful
drug. In 1947, Burroughs began living with Joan Vollmer, with whom
he had a son, William S. Burroughs Jr. After the child's birth, they
moved to New Orleans, Texas and ultimately Mexico City. Both parents
were highly addicted to Benzedrine(Joan) and Morphine(William) and
the drugs were more readily available in these locations.
On September 6, 1951 William S. Burroughs confused himself with William
Tell and, in a failed attempt at marksmanship (he was attempting to
shoot a glass from his wife's head) accidentally killed his wife.
He was charged with criminal imprudence and after being released on
bail, he left Mexico City and began traveling South America.
Nineteen fifty-seven found Burroughs in Tangiers with Jack Kerouac.
It was here that Naked Lunch, his best known novel, was penned.
With its publication in 1959, Burroughs became and underground celebrity.
The book has since been adapted for the screen by David Cronenberg.
Burroughs continued to write and produced many more novels, plays,
essays and film scripts.
William S. Burroughs passed away in Lawrence, Kansas at 6:50PM on
August 2, 1997. He had suffered a heart attack the day before his