97 Things You Didn’t Know About William S. Burroughs


Junkie, 1953 [via]

11. He discovered the counterculture lifestyle at age 13 after reading You Can’t Win, the autobiography of Jack Black. It was around this time that he first began experimenting with drugs.

12. His short essay “Personal Magnetism” was published in the John Burroughs Review in 1929.

13. He learned about sex from studying classics.

14. Burroughs’ parents sent him to the Los Alamos Boys School in New Mexico, a boarding school for the wealthy, when he was 15. He was later expelled after taking chloral hydrate with another student.

15. At 16, he lost his virginity to a boy in the next bunk bed.

16. He destroyed all his diaries from this period.


William S. Burroughs [via]

17. Burroughs graduated with a degree in English literature from Harvard University in 1936. He was known for keeping to himself, and spent most of his free time with a .32 revolver and his pet ferret.

18. His parents gave him an allowance of $200 a month after graduation. $200 in 1936 was roughly equivalent to $3000 in 2011.

19. Burroughs worked as a cub reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but disliked the job and refused to cover certain stories.

20. Burroughs was turned down four times by the military.