Fun Facts Friday: William S. Burroughs

February 5, 2016

William S. Burroughs (5 February, 1914 – 2 August, 1997) was an American author, satirist, painter and celebrity.

Image from
http://www.burroughs100.com/features/the-burroughs-guy-an-interview-with-james-grauerholz-by-tom-king-text-and-audio

  1. Burroughs family fortune came from the Burroughs Adding Machine. His parents sold their stock in 1929, right before the crush.
  2. Burroughs has a degree in English lit from Harvard.
  3. The military rejected him four times.
  4. When he was in Vienna to study medicine, he married Ilse Klapper, a Jewish woman, so that she could get a visa and not be sent to a concentration camp. Even though they divorced, they remained close friends.
  5. Burroughs first tried opium with his family’s housekeeper.
  6. U2 were big fans and wanted Burroughs to be in one of their videos

  7. He is on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  8. Kurt Cobain was also a fan, the author thought Cobain was strange and that “There’s something wrong with that boy”. Mr. Burroughs didn’t know who Cobain was or who Nirvana were.
  9. One of his first jobs was to interview Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Mr. Burroughs went to their concert but hated the music, so he and Page talked about magic. You can read ABOUT the interview here, it’s actually very interesting.
  10. He was introduced on Saturday Night Live as the greatest living writer in America.

Zohar – Man of la Book

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