Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the founder of San Francisco’s iconic City Lights Books and an integral figure in the Beat poetry movement, has died. The publisher and activist’s son, Lorenzo Ferlinghetti told AP that he died Monday at his home of lung disease. He was 101.
The San Francisco icon helped launch the Beat movement in the 1950s, making the works by some of the greats including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, more accessible to readers. In has 1953, the Bronxville, NY native founded San Francisco’s City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, a historical landmark that still services Bay Area natives and more to this day.
Ferlinghetti, whose works include Howl and Other Poems, Little Boy, Blasts Cries Laughter and Pictures of the Gone World, brought his talents not only to the literary world, but to the entertainment realm as well. In 2007 he penned the short To Paint the Portrait of a Bird and The World is a Beautiful Place in 2017. He even appeared as a minister in Markos Kounalakis’s 2010 short, The War Prayer.
Andrew Rodgers portrayed the modern literary figure in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Howl, which stars James Franco as Allen Ginsberg.
He will be buried in his family plot at the Bolinas Cemetery, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.