William S. Burroughs

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Date of Birth February 5, 1914
Place of Birth St. Louis, Missouri
Date of Death Aug 2, 1997 (83)
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William S. Burroughs

William Seward Burroughs II was an American writer and visual artist. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodern author whose influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians and made many appearances in films. He was also briefly known by the pen name William Lee. Burroughs created and exhibited thousands of paintings and other visual artworks, including his celebrated 'Gunshot Paintings'. He was born into a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the inventor William Seward Burroughs I who founded the Burroughs Corporation, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee.

Born: William Seward Burroughs II, February 05, 1914, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died: August 02, 1997, Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.
Pen name: William Lee
Occupation: Author
Alma mater: Harvard University
Genre: Beat literature, paranoid fiction
Literary movement: Beat Generation, postmodernism
Notable works: Junkie (1953), Naked Lunch (1959), The Nova Trilogy (1961–1964), Cities of the Red Night (1981), The Place of Dead Roads (1983)
Spouse: Ilse Klapper (1937–1946), Joan Vollmer (1946–1951)
Children: William S. Burroughs Jr.
Relatives: William Seward Burroughs I (grandfather), Ivy Lee (maternal uncle)
IMDb: William S. Burroughs's IMDb

About William S. Burroughs

Beat Generation author who is best remembered for his 1958 novel Naked Lunch. His other works include The Nova Trilogy and Junkie.

Before Fame

He lived a bohemian lifestyle in the literary community of Greenwich Village, New York.


He traveled widely and lived for a time in South America and Mexico.

Family Life

He shot and killed his wife, Joan Vollmer, during a drunken party game at a Mexico City bar. He had a son named William Jr.


David Cronenberg adapted Burroughs' most famous work, Naked Lunch, for the screen.

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Latest information about William S. Burroughs updated on October 28, 2020.

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