Name at birth: Jean Louis Kerouac
Jack Kerouac studied briefly at Columbia University in New York (1940-41), where he met Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs. Together they challenged the status quo in the literary world, writing frankly about their personal lives, which were dominated by alcohol and wild times. Kerouac coined the phrase "beat generation" to represent a general feeling among young intellectuals that the American dream had gone sour somewhere along the line. He is most famous for his 1957 novel On The Road, and is the author of the novels Dharma Bums and Desolation Angels.
In 2005 his military record, which includes many biographical details, was posted here, at The Smoking Gun.