3 June 1926 - 5 April 1997
Allen Ginsberg was an American poet, philosopher, and writer. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. He attended Columbia University and studied under the poet William Carlos Williams. Ginsberg's early poetry was heavily influenced by the Beat Generation and its emphasis on free expression and non-conformity. In 1956, he published his most famous poem, "Howl," which quickly became a literary sensation and was the subject of an obscenity trial. The poem's publication marked Ginsberg as a leading figure of the Beat Generation and he went on to publish several more collections of poetry, including "Kaddish" and "The Fall of America." Ginsberg's work often dealt with themes of politics, sexuality, and spirituality. He was also an active political and social activist, and a vocal advocate for the rights of marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ community. He died in 1997 but his work continues to be widely read and celebrated.