He perished as a result, on February 4, 1968. His mom died when he was 10, and he was raised by his alcoholic dad in Denver, Texas. Cassady snitched autos, hitchhiked, and was in and out of reform schools. He spent a year in jail in the age of 18. In 1946, Cassady traveled to Nyc to go to a friend at Columbia University. He moved to Nyc with his 16-year old wife, LuAnne Henderson, who immediately returned home. Cassady stayed in town, and though he promised to be straight, started a sexual relationship with Allen Ginsberg. The poet was greatly in love with Cassady; his groundbreaking poem “Howl” calls Cassady a “secret hero.” Cassady learned the best way to compose fiction from Kerouac, who based the character Dean Moriarty from 1957’s On the Road on his cherished buddy.
Cassady was relentlessly dynamic. His free-fluid, in-depth letters to Kerouac greatly impacted the novelist’s style. Cassady’s own prose is distinguished from an identical breathlessness, however he never completed a novel; he fought to package his ever-developing thoughts into sentences. One year after, his union to LuAnne was annulled and he wed Carolyn. She’d his kid, as well as the family moved to Los Gatos, a suburb of San Jose where Cassady worked to the Southern Pacific railroad.
Cassady was notoriously unfaithful, occasionally two-timing with numerous girls in one day. Carolyn additionally discovered him in bed with Ginsberg more than once. While she stayed home and raised the couple’s three kids, Cassady road-tripped across the country while sleeping along with his ex wife. With Cassady’s encouragement, Carolyn finally had an affair with Kerouac. In his novel Big Sur, Kerouac records this encounter.
In 1958, Cassady was arrested for selling pot and served two years in San Quentin Prison. Later, he joined writer Ken Kesey and his group, the Merry Pranksters, on a cross country, drug-filled road trip. Their experiences are detailed in Tom Wolfe’s 1968 novel, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Significant drug use ultimately led to Cassady’s departure, on February 4, 1968. He was located on railroad tracks after having a celebration in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. His autobiography was published posthumously as The Primary Third.