My work comprises one vast book like Proust's except that my remembrances are written on the run instead of afterwards in a sick bed. Because of the objections of my early publishers I was not allowed to use the same personae names in each work. On the Road, The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums, Doctor Sax, Maggie Cassidy, Tristessa, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody and the others including this book Big Sur are just chapters in the whole work which I call The Duluoz Legend. In my old age I intend to collect all my work and re-insert my pantheon of uniform names, leave the long shelf full of books there, and die happy. The whole thing forms one enormous comedy, seen through the eyes of poor Ti Jean (me), otherwise known as Jack Duluoz, the world of raging action and folly and also gentle sweetness seen through the keyhole of his eye.
                                                                                                         Jack Kerouac

Sadly, Kerouac's destructive lifestyle caught up with him before he ever reached his golden goal of "old age", and as of this noding, his publishers are still squabbling amongst themselves over the rights to all his works. Maybe someday down the road, Jack's idea of "one vast book" will be fully realized, but in the meantime, avid readers of Kerouac's legend have been left to piece together the true-life identities of his larger-than-life characters from the scattered hints left behind in the stories themselves and in his various biographies.

This is what I've got so far.

It's not done yet. Granted, compared to most it looks comprehensive as hell, but it still isn't done yet. I've been gradually building this thing in notebook form from the day I started reading Jack's books. It's compiled and distilled from every source I could find. Yet, it's still all full of holes, simply because Kerouac's whirlwind life touched on the lives of so many others.

(note: that was my roundabout way of saying "any corrections and additions appreciated." Really. If you haven't noticed, this is just one of those things that I seem to care about quite a lot. Go figure.)

The top bit contains brief bios on the principle characters of Kerouac's tales. Further down, you'll find a full list of names next to thumbnail descriptions, organized according to the books in which they appear. There's also a small list of trusty sources at the bottom, highly recommended if you want to learn more.

major note:

Jack Kerouac was a kind of fiction writer, a mythographer. This is, perhaps, a difficult concept for most readers to understand, since clearly all of his novels and poems are based on real experiences and the characters real people. However, Kerouac always insisted that what he was writing was not his memoirs, but his Legend, told in the style that you might tell your life story to close friends-- confessional, personable, spontaneous. Boring stretches were compressed, embarrasing parts glossed over, exciting parts exaggerated to epic proportions.

Sometimes things were intentionally changed, to avoid libel suits or protect the reputations of his friends. From On The Road, for instance, you might never guess that Ginsberg was homosexual, those telling details were carefully removed from the original manuscript. In The Subterraneans-- which deals with an even stronger 1950s taboo, interracial sex-- Yuri Gligoric is first described as "a tall thin blond Yugoslavian from Oregon". (Gregory Corso, whom the character was based on, was actually a short built dark-haired Italian from New York). In fact, the entire setting of the Subterraneans was eventually changed from New York's Greenwich Village to San Francisco's North Beach.

The point is, as with any story told with good friends over beers, it becomes all but impossible to separate fiction from fact, and all of Jack's characterizations should be taken as he meant them: with a wink and a smile.


"They rushed down the street together, digging everything in the early way they had, which later became so much sadder and perceptive and blank. But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled along after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."
   --- On The Road, pg. 5

"Don't think of me as a simple character-- A lecher, a ship-jumper, a loafer, a conner of old women, even of queers, an idiot, nay a drunken baby Indian when drinking-- Got socked everywhere and never socked back (except when young tough football player)-- In fact, I don't even know what I was-- Some kind of fevered being as different as a snowflake... in any case, a wondrous mess of contradictions (good enough, said Whitman) but more fit for Holy Russia of the 19th Century than for this modern America of crew cuts and sullen faces in Pontiacs."
   --- Desolation Angels, pg. 257

                Who He Was:
                ~ in Visions of Gerard ... Ti Jean Duluoz
                ~ in Doctor Sax .......... Jacky Duluoz
                ~ in Maggie Cassidy ...... Jack Duluoz 
                ~ in The Town & the City . Peter Martin 
                ~ in Vanity of Duluoz .... Jack Duluoz
                ~ in On the Road ......... Sal Paradise 
                ~ in Visions of Cody ..... Jack Duluoz 
                ~ in The Subterraneans ... Leo Percepied
                ~ in Tristessa ........... Jack Duluoz
                ~ in The Dharma Bums ..... Ray Smith
                ~ in Desolation Angels ... Jack Duluoz
                ~ in Big Sur ............. Jack Duluoz
                ~ in Satori in Paris ..... Jack Duluoz
                ~ in Book of Dreams ...... Jack Duluoz

a note: Ti Jean is pronounced "TEE zhon". Duluoz is three syllables, i.e. "DU-lu-oz".

Alan Ansen

New York essayist and poet, author of rare beat collections such as Disorderly Houses and Contact Highs. Secretary and close friend of W.H. Auden. Though self-effacing when it came to actually publishing his work, he wrote prolifically, leaving the vast majority of his poetry available only in small, private volumes passed around among his friends.

"The most amazing guy in the world with small dark curly hair making little garter snakes over his brow and his great really angelic eyes shining, rolling, a big burbling baby, a great genius of talk really, wrote research and essays and has (and is famous for) the greatest possible private library in the world, right there in that house, the library due to his erudition and this no reflection also on his big income."
   --- The Subterraneans, pg. 87

"He had more books than I've ever seen in all my life-- two libraries, two rooms loaded from floor to ceiling around all four walls, and such books as the Apocryphal Something-or-Another in ten volumes. He played Verdi operas and pantomined them in his pajamas with a great rip down the back. He didn't give a damn about anything."
   --- On The Road, pg. 127

                Who He Was:
                ~ in On the Road ......... Rollo Greb
                ~ in The Subterraneans ... Austin Bromberg
                ~ in Desolation Angels ... Irwin Swenson
                ~ in Book of Dreams ...... Irwin Swenson

William S. Burroughs

Highly controversial writer and poet, and a long-time friend of Kerouac. A world traveler, he drifted throughout his life from St. Louis to New York to Texas, and then to Latin America, North Africa and France. Bisexual. A drug addict and gun enthusiast. Married Joan Vollmer in 1957, but shot and killed her 5 years later, in a highly-publicized William Tell stunt gone wrong (most sources confirm that it was a tragic mistake, not murder. They were entertaining friends and drinking; Joan put a glass of gin on her head, and teased Bill to try to shoot it off.) Burroughs would go on to write such works as Junky, Nova Express, and The Soft Machine, along with his masterwork Naked Lunch (of which Jack had helped type-up in Tangier, on his own typewriter)

"But when I had heard about 'Will Hubbard' I had pictured a stocky, dark-haired person of peculiar intensity because of the reports about him, the peculiar directness of his actions, but here he had come walking into my pad tall and bespectacled and thin in a seersucker suit as tho he's just returned from a compound in Equatorial Africa where he'd sat at dusk with a martini discussing the peculiarities... Tall, 6 foot 1, strange, inscrutable because ordinary-looking (scrutable), like a shy bank clerk with a patrician thinlipped cold bluelipped face, blue eyes saying nothing behind steel rims and glass, sandy hair, a little wispy."
   --- Vanity of Duluoz, pg.199

                Who He Was:
                ~ in The Town and The City . Will Dennison
                ~ in Vanity of Duluoz ...... Will Hubbard
                ~ in On the Road ........... Old Bull Lee
                ~ in The Subterraneans ..... Frank Carmody
                ~ in Desolation Angels ..... Bull Hubbard
                ~ in Book of Dreams ........ Bull Hubbard 

Lucien Carr

Wild-hearted intellectual, later a notable reporter for United Press International. Though not an author himself, his ad-hoc "New Vision" literary club at Columbia University became the nucleus for what would later be called the Beat Generation, including Kerouac, as well as Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. After a deadly confrontation with friend-turned-stalker David Kammerer, he spent two years in an upstate reformatory. Carr later married and had three very successful children.

"There was this kid from New Orleans called Claude de Maubris who was born in England of a French viscount now in the consular service, and of an English mother, and who now lived with his grandmother in a Louisiana estate whenever he was there, which was seldom, blond, eighteen, of fantastic male beauty like a blond Tyrone Power... But he was okay. He was no fairy and he was strong and wiry and that first night we got really drunk and he told me to get into an empty barrel and then proceeded to roll the barrel down the sidewalks of upper Broadway. A few nights later I do remember we sat in puddles of rain together in a crashing downpour and poured black ink over our hair... yelling folk songs and all kindsa songs. I got to like him more and more."
   --- Vanity of Duluoz, pg. 194

note: Lucien wasn't really a French aristocrat's son,
that was just an injoke between Kerouac and Carr.

(In reality, Lucien came from a wealthy family in St. Louis.)

                Who He Was:
                ~ in The Town and The City . Kenny Wood
                ~ in Vanity of Duluoz ...... Claude de Maubrus
                ~ in On the Road ........... Damion 
                ~ in Visions of Cody  ...... Julien Love
                ~ in The Subterraneans ..... Sam Vedder
                ~ in Desolation Angels ..... Julien Love
                ~ in Big Sur ............... Julian
                ~ in Book of Dreams ........ Julien Love

Neal Cassady

Kerouac's best friend and foremost inspiration. Son of a vagabond in Denver, Colorado. A reckless car thief and truant, he was in and out of state reformatories for most of his young life. While incarcerated, he learned about Ginsberg and Kerouac in letters sent from his friend Hal Chase at Columbia. He traveled there to meet them shortly after his release, along with his young wife Luanne Henderson. In New York, Neal also met Carolyn Robinson, and though he would soon divorce Luanne and marry Carolyn, he would continue to foster a relationship with both women, and countless others, for the rest of his life. Kerouac and Cassady took several road trips together, and later, after a falling out with Jack, he traveled with Ken Kesey during his notorious experiments with LSD. He died in 1968, from a drug overdose.

"He was simply a youth tremendously excited with life, and though he was a con-man, he was only conning because he wanted so much to live and to get involved with people who would otherwise pay no attention to him. He was conning me and I knew it, and he knew I knew (this was the basis of our relationship)."
   --- On the Road, pg. 4

"Have you ever seen anyone like Cody Pomeray? -- a young guy with a bony face that looks like it's been pressed against metal bars to get that dogged look of suffering... who walks as fast as he can go on the balls of his feet, talking excitedly and gesticulating... There are some young men you look at who seem completely safe, maybe just because of a Scandanavian ski sweater, angelic, saved; on Cody Pomeray it immediately becomes a dirty stolen sweater worn in wild sweats."
   --- Visions of Cody, pg. 48

                Who He Was:
                ~ in On the Road ......... Dean Moriarty
                ~ in Visions of Cody ..... Cody Pomeray 
                ~ in The Subterraneans ... Leroy
                ~ in The Dharma Bums ..... Cody Pomeray
                ~ in Desolation Angels ... Cody Pomeray
                ~ in Big Sur ............. Cody Pomeray
                ~ in Book of Dreams ...... Cody Pomeray

Gregory Corso

NYC native, Italian-American poet. An orphan, he spent his childhood drifting the streets of New York. Arrested for robbery at age 16 and spent 3 years in prison. Later wrote the famous poems "Marriage" and "BOMB", along with the books Gasoline, Long Live Man, Eligiac Feelings American and many others. He was one of the longest lived of the Beat poets, dying just last year at the age of 70.

"A young poet, 22... wanting, naturally, as a young unpublished unknown but very genius poet to destroy the big established gods and raise himself-- wanting therefore their women too, being uninhibited, or unsaddened, yet, at least-- I liked him."
   --- The Subterraneans, pg. 66

"Do you dig? do you understand? The way he says "understand," like, "stahnd," like Frank Sinatra, like something New York, like something new in the world, a real down-from-the-bottom city Poet at last, like Christopher Smart and Blake, like Tom O Bedlam, the song of the streets and of alley cats, the great great Raphael Urso who'd made me so mad in 1953 when he made it with my girl-- but whose fault was that? mine as much as theirs..."
   --- Desolation Angels, pg. 142

                Who He Was:
                ~ in The Subterraneans ... Yuri Gligoric
                ~ in Desolation Angels ... Raphael Urso
                ~ in Book of Dreams ...... Raphael Urso

Henri Cru

French expatriate and long-time friend of Kerouac. First met Jack at Horace Mann prep school as teenagers. The pair later shared apartments in California and New York. Because of his generous, good-hearted nature and more traditional approach to "civilized" life, Henri was one of the only friends that Jack's parents actually trusted (ironic, since in fact Cru was a compulsive schemer and thief, constantly living beyond his means).

"I climbed in and there he was, sleeping with his girl, Lee Ann-- on a bed he stole from a merchant ship, he told me later; imagine the deck engineer of a merchant ship sneaking over the side in the middle of the night with a bed, and heaving and straining at the oars. This barely describes Remi Boncoeur... Remi was a tall, dark, handsome Frenchman (he looked like a kind of Marseille black-marketeer of twenty); because he was French he had to talk in jazz American; his English was perfect, his French was perfect. He liked to dress sharp, slightly on the collegiate side and go out with fancy blondes and spend a lot of money."
   --- On The Road, pg. 61

                Who He Was:
                ~ in Vanity of Duluoz .... Deni Bleu 
                ~ in On the Road ......... Remi Boncoeur
                ~ in Visions of Cody ..... Deni Bleu
                ~ in Lonesome Traveler ... Deni Bleu
                ~ in Desolation Angels ... Deni Bleu

Allen Ginsberg

New Jersey-born poet and social activist. His poem Howl is considered one of the most important works of 20th century writing. Published in 1956, at the leading edge of the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, he used his early publicity and influence to help push forward the careers of many other young writers and poets, Kerouac included. He was later a prominent figure in the social movements and anti-war demonstrations of the decades that followed. His other works include Kaddish, Empty Mirror, Reality Sandwiches, and The Fall of America: Poems of These States, which won the National Book Award in 1974.

"I was sitting in Johnnie's apartment one day when the door opened and in walks this spindly Jewish kid with horn-rimmed glasses and tremendous ears sticking out, seventeen years old, burning black eyes, a strangely deep mature voice... I didn't like him anyway. One look at him, a few days of knowing him to avouch my private claim, and I came to the conclusion that he was a lecher who wanted everyone in the world to take a bath in the same big bathtub which would give him a chance to feel legs under the dirty water."
   --- Vanity of Duluoz, pg. 211

"You can see by now Irwin is a weird cat. In my days on the road with Cody he'd followed us to Denver and everywhere bringing his apocalyptic poems and eyes. Now that he was a famous poet he was mellower, doing the things he'd always wanted to do, traveling even more, writing less though, but pulling in the skeins of his purpose-- you might almost say 'Mother Garden'."
   --- Desolation Angels, pg. 259

                Who He Was:
                ~ in The Town and The City . Leon Levinsky
                ~ in Vanity of Duluoz ...... Irwin Garden
                ~ in On the Road ........... Carlo Marx
                ~ in Visions of Cody ....... Irwin Garden
                ~ in The Subterraneans ..... Adam Moorad
                ~ in The Dharma Bums ....... Alvah Goldbook
                ~ in Desolation Angels ..... Irwin Garden
                ~ in Big Sur ............... Irwin Garden
                ~ in Book of Dreams ........ Irwin Garden

John Clellon Holmes

New England author and essayist. A close friend of Kerouac and Ginsberg. Never really into drinking or taking drugs, and preferring to stay at home with his wife instead of wandering the world, he still kept in constant contact with his circle of friends through letters. His most famous novel, Go, pre-dates On The Road by five years, and features many of the same people that Jack would later immortalize in his Duluoz Legend. Also widely consider to be the one to first coin the term "Beat Generation", in a New York Times article in 1952.

"... a sad, handsome fellow, sweet, generous, and amenable; only once in a while he suddenly has fits of depression and rushes off without saying a word to anyone. This night he was overjoyed. 'Sal, where did you find these absolutely wonderful people? I've never seen anyone like them!'"
   --- On The Road, pg. 125

                Who He Was:
                ~ in On the Road ......... Tom Saybrook
                ~ in Visions of Cody ..... Tom Wilson 
                ~ in The Subterraneans ... Balliol MacJones
                ~ in Book of Dreams ...... James Watson

Gary Snyder

Californian poet, naturalist and counter-culture leader. From his early studies at Reed College and UC Berkley, he became a reknowned follower of Zen Buddhism, even spending ten years traveling Asia in search of ancient texts and enlightenment. He was an active figure in the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, and the later social movements of the 60's and 70's. Snyder won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Turtle Island in 1975. He currently teachs English at the University of California, Davis.

"The number one Dharma Bum of them all, a kid from Eastern Oregon brought up in a log cabin deep in the woods, from the beginning a woods boy, an axman... He wore a little goatee, strangely Oriental-looking with his somewhat slanted green eyes, but didn't look like a Bohemian at all, and was far from being a Bohemian... Japhy wasn't big, just about five foot seven, but strong and wiry and fast and muscular. His face was a mask of woeful bone, but his eyes twinkled like the eyes of old giggling sages of China, over that little goatee, to offset the rough look of his handsome face."
   --- The Dharma Bums, pg. 9

               Who He Was:
               ~ in The Dharma Bums ..... Japhy Ryder 
               ~ in Desolation Angels ... Jarry Wagner
               ~ in Big Sur ............. Jarry Wagner

Philip Whalen

Zen Buddhist poet and priest. After being introduced by Gary Synder to Kerouac and the others, he became a highly-respected spiritual figure in their circle of friends. In 1973, after years of quiet practice and study, he was declared the Abbot of the Hartford Street Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in San Francisco. A writer himself, author of numerous poetry collections, as well as two novels: Imaginary Speeches for a Brazen Head and You Didn't Even Try. Whalen was a constant reader, despite his terrible eyesight, an affliction which grew even worse as the years went on. Whalen passed away in June of this year (2002). He was 78 years old.

"Japhy's buddy was the aforementioned booboo big old goodhearted Warren Coughlin a hundred and eighty pounds of poet meat, who was advertised by Japhy as more than meets the eye. 'Who is he?' 'He's my big best friend from Oregon, we've known each other a long time. At first you think he's slow and stupid but actually he's a shining diamond. You'll see. Don't let him cut you to ribbons.'"
   --- The Dharma Bums, pg. 12

"Ben (a California poet from Oregon) had inherited this sweet little spot after everybody'd dispersed east some as far as Japan (like old Dharma Bum Jarry Wagner)-- So he sat there smiling over the Lankavatara Scripture in the quiet California night a strange and sweet sight to see after all those three thousand miles from Florida, for me-- He was still smiling as he invited us to sit down... a big pink fellow with glasses and great calm blue eyes like the eyes of a Moon Professor or really of a Nun."
   --- Desolation Angels, pg. 391

               Who He Was:
               ~ in The Dharma Bums ..... Warren Coughlin
               ~ in Desolation Angels ... Ben Fagan
               ~ in Big Sur ............. Ben Fagan

A full list of names, book by book...

    Visions of Gerard 

Ti Jean Duluoz - Jack Kerouac

Ange Duluoz - Gabrielle Kerouac, Jack's mother
Caroline "Nin" Duluoz - Caroline Kerouac, Jack's sister
Emil "Pop" Duluoz - Leo Kerouac, Jack's father
Gerard Duluoz - Gerard Kerouac, Jack's older brother

    Doctor Sax    
Jacky Duluoz - Jack Kerouac

Charlie Bergerac - Leona "Leo" Betrand, Fred's mother
Lucky Bergerac - "Happy" Bertrand, Fred's fatther
Vinny Bergerac - Fred Bertrand, boyhood friend
Paul "Scotty" Boldieu - Henry "Scotty" Beaulieu, boyhood friend
Ange Duluoz - Gabrielle Kerouac
Catherine "Nin" Duluoz - Caroline Kerouac
Emil "Pop" Duluoz - Leo Kerouac
Gerard Duluoz - Gerard Kerouac
Bruno Gringas - Duke Chungas, friend on high school football team
Dickie Hampshire - Billy Chandler, boyhood friend
Albert "Lousy" Lauzon - Roland Salvas, boyhood friend
G.J. Rigopoulos - George "G.J." Apostolos, boyhood friend
Ali Zaza - Jean Fourchette, boyhood friend

    Maggie Cassidy

Jack Duluoz - Jack Kerouac

Vinny Bergerac - Fred Bertrand
Jimmy Bisonette - Charlie Morrisette, Jack's friend, Nin's 1st husband
Maggie Cassidy - Mary Carney, Jack's high school sweetheart
Timmy Clancy - Jim O'Dea, boyhood friend
Pauline "Moe" Cole - Margaret "Peggy" Coffey, friend from high school
Emil "Pop" Duluoz - Leo Kerouac
Nin Duluoz - Caroline Kerouac
Eleanor - Carolyn Robinson Cassady, friend, lover, wife of Neal Cassady
Johhny Kazarakis - Johnny Koumentzalis, 1930s Lowell track star
Albert "Lousy" Lauzon - Roland Salvas
Lu Libble - Lou Little, Jack's football coach at Columbia
G.J. Rigopoulos - G.J. Apostolos
James G Santos - Charles Sampas, older brother of Sammy Sampas
Whitey St. Clair - Red St. Louis, boyhood friend, introduced Jack to Mary
Lionel Smart - Seymour Wyse, Horace Mann friend that introduced Jack to jazz.
Zaza Vauriselle - Jean Fourchette

    The Town and the City

Peter Martin - Jack Kerouac

Ernest Berlot - Fred Bertrand
Tommy Campbell - Billy Chandler
Will Dennison - William S. Burroughs, author and close friend
Mary Dennison - Joan Vollmer Burroughs, William's wife
Mary Gilhooley - Mary Carney
Jeanne - Celine Young, Lucien Carr's lover
Junkey - Herbert Huncke, early NY friend and author
Leon Levinsky - Allen Ginsberg, author, poet, close friend
Elizabeth/Ruth Martin - Caroline Kerouac
George Martin - Leo Kerouac
Julian Martin - Gerard Kerouac
Marguerite "Marge" Martin - Gabrielle Kerouac
Waldo Meister - David Kammerer, friend of Burroughs, killed by Lucien Carr
Danny "D.J." Mulverhill - G.J. Apostolos
Alex Panos - Sebastian "Sammy" Sampas, boyhood friend and early influence
Scotcho Rouleau - Scotty Beaulieu 
Judie Smith - Edna "Edie" Parker, Jack's first wife
Kenneth Wood - Lucien Carr, long-time friend
Zouzou - Jean Fourchette

    Vanity of Duluoz

Jack Duluoz - Jack Kerouac 

Deni Bleu - Henri Cru, long-time friend in New York and California
Scotcho Boldieu - Scotty Beaulieu
Maggie Cassidy - Mary Carney
Timmy Clancy - Jim O'Dea
Pauline "Moe" Cole - Peggy Coffey
Chuck Derounian - George Avakian, musician, friend at Horace Mann
Emil "Pop" Duluoz - Leo Kerouac
Ange Duluoz - Gabrielle Kerouac
Kyles Elgins - Kells Elvins, friend of Burroughs from St. Louis
Irwin Garden - Allen Ginsberg
Telemachus Gringas - Duke Chungas
Dickie Hampshire - Billy Chandler
Wilson Holmes "Will" Hubbard - William Burroughs
June - Joan Vollmer Burroughs
Johnny Kazarkis - Johnny Koumentzalis
Lu Libble - Lou Little
Claude de Maubris - Lucien Carr
Franz Mueller - David Kammerer
Roy Olmsted - William F. Buckley, Jr., author, social commentator
Edna "Johnnie" Palmer - Edie Parker
G.J. Rigolopoulos - G.J. Apostolos
Sabby Savakis - Sebastian Sampas
Stavroula Savakis - Stella Sampas
Lionel Smart - Seymour Wyse
Cecily Wain - Celine Young
Jimmy Winchel - Eddie Gilbert, friend at Horace Mann

    On The Road

Sal Paradise - Jack Kerouac

Remi Boncoeur - Henri Cru
Camille - Carolyn Cassady 
Damion - Lucien Carr
Denver D. Doll - Justin Brierly, friend in Colorado
Ed Dunkel - Al Hinkle, road companion
Galatea Dunkel - Helen Hinkle, wife of Al
Tim Gray - Ed White, Columbia friend, architect
Rollo Greb - Alan Ansen, friend, essayist, poet
Elmer Hasel - Herbert Huncke
Hal Hingham - Alan Harrington, novelist
Inez - Diana Hansen, Neal Cassady's wife in NY
Dorothy Johnson - Dorothy Tomson, wife of Bill
Roy Johnson - Bill Tomson, friend of Cassadys', introduced Neal to Carolyn
Chad King - Hal Chase, friend at Columbia, Denver
Laura - Joan Haverty, Jack's second wife
Dodie Lee - Julie Burroughs, daughter of William and Joan
Jane Lee - Joan Vollmer Burroughs
Old Bull Lee - William Burroughs
Ray Lee - William Burroughs, Jr., son of William and Joan
Roland Major - Allan Temko, professor of architecture, NY friend
Mary Lou - Luanne Henderson, Cassady's first wife
Amy Moriarty - Cathy Cassady, daughter of Neal and Carolyn
Dean Moriarty - Neal Cassady, Jack's bestfriend, traveling companion, muse
Joanie Moriarty - Jamie Cassady, daughter of Neal and Carolyn
Carlo Marx - Allen Ginsberg
Ray Rawlins - Bob Burford, Denver friend, magazine editor
Babe Rawlins - Beverly Burford, wife of Bob Burford
Tom Saybrook - John Clellon Holmes, novelist, friend and rival
Stan Shepard - Frank Jeffries, Denver friend, road companion
Teresa - Bea Franco, california girlfriend
Tom Snark - Jim Holmes, friend of Cassadys'
Ed Wall - Don Uhl, friend of Neal in Colorado
Sal's Aunt (Unnamed) - Gabrielle Kerouac (Jack's mother)
Sal's Brother ("Rocco") - Paul Blake (Jack's brother-in-law)
Sal's Sister-in-law (Unnamed) - Caroline Blake (Jack's sister)

    Visions of Cody

Jack Duluoz - Jack Kerouac

Deni Bleu - Henri Cru
Helen Buckle - Helen Hinkle
Slim Buckle - Al Hinkle
Biff Buferd - Bob Burford
Jay Chapman - Jay Landesman, magazine editor
Charlie - Charlie Mew, friend of Neal and Jack in San Fran
Joanna Dawson - Luanne Henderson
Diane - Diana Hansen
Dusty - Dusty Moreland, friend of Jack and Allen in NYC
Elly - Edie Parker
Evelyn - Carolyn Cassady
Finistra - Bill Cannastra, NY friend, lawyer, later killed in subway accident
Irwin Garden - Allen Ginsberg
Ed Gray - Ed White
Duke Gringas - Duke Chungas
Harper - Bill Garver, friend of Burroughs
Huck - Herbert Huncke
Val Hayes - Hal Chase (earlier in the book called Val King)
Earl Johnson - Bill Tomson
Val King - Hal Chase (later in the book called Val Hayes)
Julien Love - Lucien Carr
Allen Minko - Allan Temko
Nessa - Francesca "Cessa" von Hartz, wife of Lucien Carr
Cody Pomeray - Neal Cassady
Emily Pomeray - Cathy Cassady, daughter of Neal and Carolyn
Gaby Pomeray - Jamie Cassady, daughter of Neal and Carolyn
Timmy Pomeray - John Allen Cassady, son of Neal and Carolyn
Danny Richman - Jerry Newman, NY record producer
Dave Sherman - Frank Jeffries
Lionel Smart - Seymour Wyse
Dave Stroheim - David Kammerer
Tom Watson - Jim Holmes
Ed Wehle - Don Uhl
Cecily Wayne - Celine Young
Vicky - Vicki Russell, friend in New York City
Tom Wilson - John Clellon Holmes

    The Subterraneans

Leo Percepied - Jack Kerouac

Julien Alexander - Anton Rosenberg, Greenwich Village hipster
Annie - Luanne Henderson
Roger Beloit - Allen Eager, jazz musician
Charles Bernard - Ed Stringham, New York friend
Austin Bromberg - Alan Ansen
Frank Carmody - William Burroughs
Jane Carmody - Joan Vollmer Burroughs
Ricci Comucca -  Richie Komuca, saxophonist
Paddy Cordovan - Peter Van Meter, friend of Jack's in NYC
Bennet Fitzpatrick - Whit Burnett, poet, magazine editor
Walt Fitzpatrick - David Burnett, son of Whit Burnett
Mardou Fox - Alene Lee, Jack's NY lover, 1953
Yuri Gligoric - Gregory Corso, poet, author
Arial Lavalina - Gore Vidal, novelist
Leroy - Neal Cassady
Balliol MacJones - John Clellon Holmes
Adam Moorad - Allen Ginsberg
Fritz Nicholas - Bill Keck, friend in NYC
Larry O'Hara - Jerry Newman
Roxanne - Iris Brodie, New York friend
Harold Sand - William Gaddis, novelist
Jack Steen - Mason Hoffenberg, NY friend, writer
Sylvester Strauss - David Diamond, NY composer, friend
Sam Vedder - Lucien Carr
Ross Wallenstein - Stanley Gould, NY friend


Jack Duluoz - Jack Kerouac

Al Damlette - Al Sublette, San Francisco friend
Old Bull Gaines - Bill Garver
Francis DaPavia - Philip Lamantia, surrealist poet, magazine editor
Tristessa - Esperanza Villanueva, Mexico City prostitute

    The Dharma Bums

Ray Smith - Jack Kerouac

Altman -  John Hoffman, recently-deceased friend of Philip Lamantia
Rosie Buchanan - Natalie Jackson, Cassady's San Francisco girlfriend
Reinhold Cacoethes - Kenneth Rexroth, poet, essayist
Warren Coughlin - Philip Whalen, poet, Zen spiritualist
Francis DaPavia - Philip Lamantia
Bud Diefendorf - Claude Dahlenburg, friend in S.F.
Evelyn - Carolyn Cassady
George - Peter Orlovsky, poet, Ginsberg's companion and lover
Alvah Goldbook - Allen Ginsberg
Big Luke - Paul Blake, Caroline Kerouac's husband
Little Luke - Paul Blake, Jr., son of Paul and Caroline
Sean Monahan - Locke McCorkle, friend of Gary Snyder
Henry Morley - John Montgomery, poet, author of Kerouac West Coast
Nin - Caroline Kerouac
Ike O'Shay - Michael McClure, poet, novelist, dramatist
Cody Pomeray - Neal Cassady
Japhy Ryder - Gary Snyder, poet, essayist, author
Rhoda Ryder - Thea Snyder, Gary's sister
Rol Sturlason - Will Petersen, artist, friend of Gary Snyder
Arthur Whane - Alan Watts, Zen Buddhist theologian

    Desolation Angels

Jack Duluoz - Jack Kerouac

Alex Aums - Alan Watts
Chuck Berman - Bob Kaufman, poet, surrealist, jazz aficionado
Blacky Blake - Bernie Byers, Washington State forest ranger
Deni Bleu - Henri Cru
Maggie Cassidy - Mary Carney
Richard de Chili - Peter du Peru, San Francisco bum
Pauline Cole - Peggy Coffey
David D'Angeli - Philip Lamantia
Mal Damelette - Al Sublette
Lazarus Darlovsky - Lafcadio Orlovsky, younger brother of Peter
Simon Darlovsky - Peter Orlovsky
Tony Darlovsky - Julius Orlovsky, brother of Peter
Geoffrey Donald - Robert Duncan, poet, author
Rob Donnelly - Bob Donlin, friend in San Francisco
Nin Duluoz - Caroline Kerouac
Ruth Erickson - Helen Elliot, roommate of Helen Weaver
Ben Fagan - Philip Whalen
Alex Fairbrother - John Montgomery
Old Bull Gaines - Bill Garver
Harry Garden - Louis Ginsberg, father of Allen, also a poet
Irwin Garden - Allen Ginsberg
Ruth Heaper - Helen Weaver, NY girldfriend of Jack
Bull Hubbard - William Burroughs
Rose Wise Lazuli - Ruth Witt-Diamant, S.F. poetry scene organizer
Levesque - Robert LaVinge, S.F. artist, friend of Peter O.
Lionel - Seymour Wyse
Barbara Lipp - Elise Cowen, early girlfriend of Ginsberg
Ezra Love - Ethan Love, son of Julien and Cessa, later a landscape architect
Gareth Love - Caleb Carr, son of Julien and Cessa, later an author
Julien Love - Lucien Carr
Peter Love - Simon Carr, son of Julien and Cessa, later an artist
Harvey Marker - Norman Mailer, novelist, essayist
Patrick McLear - Michael McClure
Paul - Claude Dahlenburg
Kevin McLoch - Locke McCorkle
Irwin Minko - Allen Temko
Lorenzo Monsanto - Lawrence Ferlinghetti, publisher, poet
Alyce Newman - Joyce Glassman, biographer, NY girlfriend
Cody Pomeray - Neal Cassady
Emily Pomeray - Cathy Cassady
Evelyn Pomeray - Carolyn Cassady
Gaby Pomeray - Janie Cassady
Timmy Pomeray - John Allen Cassady
Merrill Randall - James Merill, poet, novelist
Varnum Random - Randall Jarrell, Washington D.C. poet, critic, author
Gerard Rose - Anton Rosenberg
Rosemarie - Natalie Jackson
Vanessa von Salzburg - Cessa von Hartz, wife of Lucien Carr
Romona Swartz - Lenore Kandel, poet, Lew Welch's lover
Irwin Swenson - Alan Ansen
Tristessa - Esperanza Villanueva
Raphael Urso - Gregory Corso
Gia Valencia - Gui De Angulo, photographer, artist
Jarry Wagner - Gary Snyder
David Wain - Lew Welch, poet, author

    Big Sur

Jack Duluoz - Jack Kerouac

George Baso - Albert Saijo, S.F. friend, road companion
Ron Blake - Paul Smith, Big Sur companion
Robert Browning - Robert Lavinge
Eliot Dabney - Eric Gibson, son of Jackie
Willamine "Billie" Dabney - Jackie Gibson Mercer, S.F. girlfriend
Mal Damlette - Al Sublette
Evelyn - Carolyn Cassady
Ben Fagan - Philip Whalen
Irwin Garden - Allen Ginsberg
Julian - Lucien Carr
Arthur Ma - Victor Wong, S.F. painter, Big Sur companion
Patrick McLear - Michael McClure
Lorenzo Monsanto - Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Cody Pomeray - Neal Cassady
Timmy John Pomeray - John Allen Cassady
Joey Rosenberg - Sandy Jacobs, friend in San Francisco
Romana Swartz - Lenora Kandel
David Wain - Lew Welch
Jarry Wagner - Gary Snyder
Arthur Whane - Alan Watts
Perry Yturbide - Jamie Perpignan, friend of Neal in San Fran

    Book of Dreams

Jack Duluoz - Jack Kerouac

Dick Beck - Bill Keck
Ed Buckle - Ed Hinkle
Simon Darlovsky - Peter Orlovsky
Geoffrey Donald - Robert Duncan
Irwin Garden - Allen Ginsberg
Guy Green - Gary White
Bull Hubbard - William Burroughs
Huck - Herbert Huncke
Shelley Lisle - Stanley Gould
Julien Love - Lucien Carr
Ronald Macy - Ed Stringham
Irene May - Alene Lee
Irving Minko - Allen Temko
Cody Pomeray - Neal Cassady
Danny Richman - Jerry Newman
Gerard Rose - Anton Rosenberg
Rosemarie - Natalie Jackson
Irwin Swenson - Alan Ansen
Raphael Urso - Gregory Corso
James Watson - John Clellon Holmes

*note: for the sake of readability, I hardlinked each name only once. If you don't see an explanation
next to a name, scan upward until you find that name in blue (or whatever color you use for links).

Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Kerouac, by Gerald Nicosia
Jack's Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac, by Barry Gifford
The Portable Jack Kerouac, edited by Ann Charters
Kerouac: A Biography, by Ann Charters
Angelheaded Hipster: A Life of Jack Kerouac, by Steve Turner
Jack Kerouac: An Illustrated Biography, by David Sandison
Desolate Angel: A Biography, by Dennis McNally

Literary Kicks (
Empty Mirror Books (
JACK Magazine (

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