Ken Kesey

Born: 9/17/1935
Birthplace: La Junta, Colorado

counterculture hero who was inspired to write his first novel, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, while working as a night attendant in the psychiatric ward of a California hospital. He was a spokesman for psychedelic drugs, and his 1964 cross-country trip with his Merry Pranksters in a 1932 bus painted in Day-Glo colors was chronicled by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Cuckoo's Nest was adapted for Broadway (1963–64, 1970, and 2001) and for film (1975). The film version won five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Milos Forman), Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), and Best Actress (Louise Fletcher).

Died: Eugene, Ore., 11/10/2001
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