Happy 90th Birthday, Jack Kerouac

12 Mar


Today would’ve been Jack Kerouac’s ninetieth birthday.

On March 12, 1922, French-Canadian immigrants Gabrielle and Leo Kerouac had their third, and last, child.  He was born at home, on the second floor of the brown house sitting at 9 Lupine Road in Lowell, Massachusetts.   This was in the West Centralville neighborhood, affectionately called Little Canada, of Lowell.  They baptized the baby boy in the Catholic Church.  His baptism certificate reads: Jean Louis Kirouac.  Although that was the standard Quebec spelling of the surname, the family spelled the name Kerouac.  They would call him Ti Jean, meaning Little John.  In fact, he would publish his first book, The Town & the City as John Kerouac.



I visited Jack Kerouac’s birth home when I attended Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! last October.  Apart from the plaque on the front of the house, nothing sets it apart as a any sort of landmark.  Today a new family lives in Kerouac’s birth home.  When the bus dropped my tour group off, the people came outside and gawked at us pilgrims just as we gawked at their regular-looking house.  I love touring authors’ homes and wish Kerouac’s had been preserved for visitors, but it seems fitting that it wasn’t.  After all, the Kerouacs moved often, and the house at 9 Lupine Road is just one of many that Kerouac lived in in Lowell.  Although he lived much of his life with his mother, Kerouac spent much of his time on the road and crashing at friends’ pads.  “Home” for Kerouac didn’t seem to be a house.



One Response to “Happy 90th Birthday, Jack Kerouac”


  1. Happy 91st Birthday, Jack Kerouac! | Stephanie Nikolopoulos - March 12, 2013

    […] you’re interested in discovering his birth home, you can check out my Kerouac birthday post from last year, which has photos and […]

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