Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) was an American novelist and poet who influenced generations of writers. He is recognized for his style of spontaneous prose and for his being a pioneer of the Beat Generation. His first novel appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that epitomized to the world the beat philosophy. This novel created a sensation by chronicling a spontaneous and wandering way of life in a style that seemed founded both on jazz and on drug-induced visions. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. He attended local Catholic schools and eventually Columbia University. He published eighteen novels and several collections of his poetry.