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Jack Kerouac Born March 12 1922 Place of Birth Lowell Massachusetts Died October 21 1969 Place of Death St Petersburg Florida Jack Kerouac was born Jean-Louis Kerouac a French-Canadian child in working-class Lowell Massachusetts Ti Jean spoke a local dialect of French called joual before he learned English The youngest of three children he was heartbroken when his older brother Gerard died of rheumatic fever at the age of nine Ti Jean was an intense and serious child devoted to Memere his mother and constantly forming important friendships with other boys as he would continue to do throughout his life He was driven to create stories from a young age inspired first by the mysterious radio show The Shadow and later by the fervid novels of Thomas Wolfe the writer he would model himself after Lowell had once thrived as the center of New Englands textile industry but by the time of Kerouacs birth it had begun to sink into poverty Kerouacs father a printer and well-known local businessman began to suffer financial difficulties and started gambling in the hope of restoring prosperity to the household Young Jack hoped to save the family himself by winning a football scholarship to college and entering the insurance business He was a star back on his high school team and won some miraculous victories securing himself a scholarship to Columbia University in New York His parents followed him there settling in Ozone Park Queens Things went wrong at Columbia Kerouac fought with the football coach who refused to let him play His father lost his business and sank rapidly into alcoholic helplessness and young Jack disillusioned and confused dropped out of Columbia bitterly disappointing the father who had so recently disappointed him He tried and
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