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1922 Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac is born on March 12 in Lowell, Massachusetts, third child of Leo Kerouac and Gabrielle Ange Levesque (Memere), French Canadian emigrants.
1939 Graduates from Lowell High School.
1939-1940 Attends Horace Mann Preparatory School in New York City.
1940-1941 Attends Columbia University on an athletic scholarship. Breaks leg in freshman football game and subsequently drops out of school.
1941 Joins the Merchant Marine and ships out on the S.S. Dorchester for Greenland.   Returns in October and re-enrolls at Columbia but quits again after the first football game.
1943 Enlists in the Navy and is granted an honorable discharge (based on psychiatric grounds) after brief service.   Signs on again with the Merchant Marine and goes to Liverpool on the S.S. George Weems.   Leo and Memere move from Lowell to Ozone Park, New York.
1944 Meets Lucien Carr, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs.   Marries his first wife Edith Parker on August 22, but is separated from her by October
1945    Marriage to Edith Parker is annulled.
1946    Meets Neal Cassady.   Leo Kerouac dies of stomach cancer at the age of 57.
1946-1948 Writes The Town and the City in New York City.
1947-1950 Makes several trips across country with Neal Cassady and drafts ideas for On the Road .

Lives for a period with Bea Franco and works as a field hand near Bakersfield,California

1948 Meets John Clellon Holmes and coins the term “Beat Generation.”
1949      Moves with Memere to Westwood, Colorado.   She leaves by July and returns to a new apartment in Richmond Hill, New York.

Marries Joan Haverty on November 17.
Works Published:   The Town and the City

1951 Writes On the Road in April and May.   Separates from Joan Haverty.   In June, moves to sister Nin's home in North Carolina.   Discovers his compositional method of “sketching” or “spontaneous prose” and begins to rewrite On the Road as the experimental book Visions of Cody .
1951-1952 Writes Visions of Cody in New York City and San Francisco.   Lives with the Cassadys for a brief period and works for the Southern Pacific Railroad.   Joan Haverty gives birth to their daughter, Janet Michelle Kerouac, on February 16, 1952.
1952 Writes Doctor Sax in Mexico City.   Writes “The Railroad Earth” in San Francisco.
1953 Writes Maggie Cassidy and The Subterraneans in New York City.
1954   Begins study of Buddhism in New York and California.   Writes San Francisco Blues in San Francisco and some of the Dharma Bums in New York and North Carolina.
1955 Writes Mexico City Blues and begins Tristessa in Mexico City.   Attends the historic Six Gallery poetry reading on October 13 in San Francisco.
1956   Finishes Tristessa in Mexico City and writes Visions of Gerard in North Carolina.   Works for a brief period as a lookout on Desolation Mountain, Mount Baker National Forest in Washington.   Writes first part of Desolation Angels in Washington and Mexico City.

Sails to Tangier to visit William Burroughs.   Writes The Dharma Bums in Florida.
Works Published:   On the Road


Interviews with Mike Wallace.   Buys a home for Memere in Northport, New York.   Participates in Hunter College debate “Is There a Beat Generation?” With Ashley Montagu, James E. Wechsler, and Kingsley Amis.   Writes sketches in Lonesome Traveler .

Works Published:  

The Subterraneans
The Dharma Bums
“Essentials of Spontaneous Prose” (Evergreen Review)

1959     Narrates film Pull My Daisy in New York.   Interviews with Alfred Aronowitz for the New York Post .   Begins Escapade column.   Appears on the Steve Allen Show and tours MGM movie set of The Subterraneans .

Works Published:  

The Subterraneans (Avon edition with preface by Henry Miller)
Doctor Sax; Faust Part Three
Maggie Cassidy
Mexico City Blues
Visions of Cody (excerpts from the novel)
“The Origins of the Beat Generation” ( Playboy )
“Old Angel Midnight” ( Big Table )


New York premiere of The Subterraneans .

Works Published:  

The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
Lonesome Traveler


Completes Desolation Angels in Mexico City.   Writes Big Sur in Florida.   Participates in Timothy Leary's psychedelic drug experiments.   Moves to sister Nin's home in Orlando, Florida with Memere.

Works Published:  

Book of Dreams
Pull My Daisy


Returns with Memere to live in Northport, New York.

Works Published:  

Big Sur


Works Published:  

Visions of Gerard


Interviews with Northport Public Library Assistant Director Miklos Zsedely at the studio of artist Stanley Twardowicz.   Donates typescript of The Town and the City to the Northport Public Library.   Moves with Memere to St. Petersburg, Florida.   Sister Nin dies September 19 of a coronary occlusion.

Works Published:  

“Old Angel Midnight” ( Evergreen Review )


Visits Paris to research family genealogy and visits Brittany.   Writes Satori in Paris in Florida.

Works Published:  

Desolation Angels


Moves to Hyannis, Massachusetts.   Memere suffers a stroke in September. Marries Stella Sampas on November 19.    

Works Published:  

Satori in Paris

1967 Moves to Lowell, Massachusetts. Interviews with Ted Berrigan and Aram Saroyan for Paris Review and with Bruce Cook for his book The Beat Generation.

Visits Spain, Portugal, and Germany with friends.   Writes “After Me, the Deluge” for The Washington Post .   Appears on William F. Buckley's television show Firing Line .   Moves family to St. Petersburg, Florida.

Works Published:  

Vanity of Duluoz: An Adventurous Education, 1935-46

1969 Dies of abdominal hemorrhaging in St. Petersburg, Florida on October 21.
1970   Memere dies in St. Petersburg, Florida on October 14.

Works Published:  

Scattered Poems


Works Published:  

Visions of Cody


Works Published:   

Two Early Stories  
Old Angel Midnight
Trip Trap: Haiku Along the Road from San Francisco to New York 1959


Works Published:  

Heaven and Other Poems  



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