Born Jean-Louis Kerouac, Kerouac is the most famous native son of Lowell, Massachusetts. His parents had immigrated as very young children from the Province of Quebec, Canada, and Kerouac spoke a local French Canadian-American dialect before he spoke English. He was a football star at Lowell High School and upon graduation in 1939 was awarded a scholarship to Columbia University. However, after an injury sidelined him on the football team, Kerouac grew unhappy with Columbia and dropped out of school. During this period in New York City, Kerouac became friends with the poet Allen Ginsberg and the novelist William S. Burroughs, as well as Herbert Huncke and others who would be associated with the “Beat Generation.” Read more »

Site Introduction

Welcome to The site is an ever-evolving interactive storehouse and exhibition space dedicated to Jack Kerouac and connected topics.  Read more »

Credits & Contacts

This site is produced and edited at the University of Massachusetts Lowell by The Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for the Public Humanities. The Jack Kerouac Estate has provided considerable support for Mass Humanities, Lowell Cultural CouncilMassachusetts Cultural Council, and the UMass President’s Office have also financially assisted this project and related Kerouac projects. We are always thankful for their support. The editors of the site welcome comments, suggestions, and contributions. For more information about support and contacts . . . »