Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet and is considered to be a prominent figure in the Beat Movement, which predated the hippie counterculture. After the release of his acclaimed novel, On the Road in 1957, Kerouac became a celebrity of sorts. However, he was met with criticism for his views on politics, society, religion, lifestyle, and more. Unfortunately, Kerouac died at the young age of 47 due to excessive drinking, although he left behind a legacy of works and a philosophy on life that many people still look up to today. Take a look into Kerouac’s life, who he was as a man, and what inspired his life’s work.
His First Language Was French
Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on March 12, 1922, although his parents were French Canadian. He also had deep connections to the French region of Brittany and the English region of Cornwall. Because of this, Kerouac only spoke French in his early years.
He didn’t start learning English until he was six years old, and wasn’t comfortable speaking the language until he was a teenager. Although he abandoned French in his later years, near the end of his life, he expressed remorse that he no longer spoke the language.