He was born in Massachusetts, attended the Columbia University, but dropped off after one year and began his restless life, moving from one place to another and trying several jobs. In 1943 in New York he met the poet Allen Ginsberg and young people who, like him, were against American capitalism and American middle class way of life.
In 1947 he hitch-hiked around the country, which provided him with the material for his most famous novel, On the Road. In 1950, after many refusals, he managed to publish The Town and the City. In 1957 On the Road was published and became a best-seller, allowing Kerouac to publish other works, for example The Dharma Bums, reflecting his interest in Eastern philosophy.
He died in 1969 due to his alcoholism.
Kerouac is considered one of the most important personalities of the Beat Generation, a group of writers who rejected conventional way of life and morality and advocated freedom, spontaneity, peace, love. Despite their unconventionality, the members of the Beat Generation were deeply religious and sought inspiration from Eastern mysticism.
•Kerouac is generally considered to be the father of the Beat movement.
•Kerouac's method was heavily influenced by the prolific explosion of Jazz, especially the Bebop genre established by Charlie Parker and others.
•.Later, Kerouac would include ideas he developed from his Buddhist studies.
•He often referred to his style as spontaneous prose.
•The central features of this writing method were the ideas of breath (borrowed from Jazz and from Buddhist meditation breathing) and improvising words. Connected with his idea of breath was the elimination of the period, preferring to use a long, connecting dash instead. In this way, the phrases occurring between dashes might remind of improvisational jazz licks. When spoken, the words might take on a certain kind of rhythm, though not premeditated.