On This Day

Allen Ginsberg

Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg

Profession: Beat Poet

United States of America

Biography: A leading figures of both the 1950s Beat Generation of poets and writers and of the 1960s counterculture that followed, along with other famous writers Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.

Best known for his epic poem "Howl", in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States Ginsberg was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1995 for his book "Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems 1986–1992".

Born: June 3, 1926
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, USA

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: April 5, 1997 (aged 70)
Cause of Death: Liver Cancer via complications of hepatitis

Historical Events

  • 1955-03-25 United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" as obscene.
  • 1955-04-03 The American Civil Liberties Union announces it will defend Allen Ginsberg's book "Howl" against obscenity charges
  • 1955-10-07 Beat poet Allen Ginsberg reads his poem "Howl" for the first time at a poetry reading in San Francisco.
  • 1957-10-03 Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems is ruled not obscene
  • 1959-06-02 Allen Ginsberg writes his poem "Lysergic Acid", San Francisco
  • 1966-07-07 Obscenity ban for "Naked Lunch" by William S. Burroughs overturned by the Massachusetts Supreme Court after testimony by Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer
  • 1967-12-05 Pediatrician Benjamin Spock and poet Allen Ginsberg arrested in New York while protesting against the Vietnam War

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