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Key to Jack Kerouac's Characters

Jack Kerouac based all his characters on real-life friends and acquaintances. In fairness, however, please remember that Jack did alter events and saw things from his own personal viewpoint (with all the intrinsic bias and potential for misinterpretation of any human being writing about others).

Big Sur:

George Baso is based on Albert Saijo.

Jack Duluoz is Jack Kerouac himself.

Ben Fagan is based on poet Philip Whalen

Irwin Garden is based on poet Allen Ginsberg.

Patrick McLear is based on poet Michael McClure

Lorenzo Monsanto is based on poet, City Lights publisher and Bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Cody Pomeray is based on Jack's friend and inspiration Neal Cassady. This is the name Jack used for Neal in all of his books except On The Road, where he used the alias Dean Moriarty.

Evelyn Pomeray is based on Neal's wife (and close friend /lover of Jack) Carolyn Cassady, who was mother to Neal's three children and actress, artist and writer herself.

Cody and Evelyn's children: John Cassady ( a young boy at the time of the Big Sur setting, who really did visit there with his family) gives a little glimpse into Jack at Big Sur (located 6 headings down the webpage under the heading "Kerouac").

Ramona Schwartz is based on poet Lenore Kandel

Jarry Wagner represents poet/writer Gary Snyder. Jarry, however, appears only in references and is depicted as away in Japan at the time of the story (where Gary, indeed, was living at the time). However, Dharma Bums main character, Japhy Ryder, is also based on Gary.

Dave Wain is based on poet/writer Lew Welch. More at the Cosmic Baseball Game

Philip Whalen.

Rheinhold Cacoethes is based on poet / writer Kenneth Rexroth.

Francis DaPavia is based on poet Philip Lamantia.

"George" is based on Peter Orlovsky (Ginsberg long-time lover).

Alvah Goldbook is based on poet Allen Ginsberg.

Henry Morley is based on editor/small press publisher John McVey Montgomery.

Ike O'Shay is based on poet Michael McClure.

Cody Pomeray is based on Neal Cassady.

Japhy Ryder, the "hero" of Dharma Bums is based on poet/writer Gary Snyder.

Rosie is based on Neal Cassady's girlfriend & artist's model Natalie Jackson.

Ray Smith is Jack Kerouac.

On The Road

Remi Boncoeur

Elmer Hassel is based on junkie, thief, and eventually writer Herbert Huncke.

Old Bull Lee is based on writer William S. Burroughs.

Carlo Marx is based on poet Allen Ginsberg.

Tom Saybrook is writer John Clellon Holmes.

Dean Moriarty is based on Neal Cassady.

Marylou (Moriarty) is based on Neal's first wife, LouAnne Henderson

Sal (Salvatore) Paradise is Jack Kerouac.

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