William S.Burroughs 1914-1997



William S. Burroughs


Born on 5 February 1914  in St. Louis, Missouri and was best known as the author of the book Naked Lunch William Seward Burroughs came from an upper-class background in the midwestern United States, studied at Harvard University and then turned to drugs, crime and writing. In the 1940s he became addicted to heroin and met a crowd from Columbia University that included writer Jack Kerouac and poet Allen Ginsberg. In 1951 a drug-addled Burroughs recklessly shot and killed his wife while in Mexico; he fled and wound up in Tangiers. In 1953 Ginsberg helped Burroughs publish Junky, an autobiographical depiction of drug addiction, and in 1959 Burroughs published Naked Lunch. Burroughs became an underground celebrity, a literary guru and pop culture philosopher who continued to write and record until his death. Burroughs's grandfather, also named William S. Burroughs, founded the Burroughs Adding Machine Company. The company merged with Sperry in 1986 to form Unisys.. Burroughs died on 2 August 1997 of a heart attack 1



“Consider an apocalyptic statement: Nothing is true, everything is permitted…Not to be interpeted as an invitation to all manner of unrestrained and destructive behavior - that would be a minor episode which would run its course. Everything is permitted because nothing is true. It is all make-believe, illusion, dream, art.” 2


1. Taken from Answers.com “William S. Burroughs” at http://www.answers.com/topic/william-s-burroughs

2. Taken from Futureverse website. No longer online. (hard copy available upon request)