William Seward Burroughs Net Worth

William Seward Burroughs Net Worth is
$20 Million

William Seward Burroughs Bio/Wiki, Net Worth, Married 2018

William Seward Burroughs II (/?b?ro?z/; also known by his pen name William Lee; (1914-02-05)February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997(1997-08-02)) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century". His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.He was born to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the inventor and founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studied English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and later attended medical school in Vienna. After being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and U.S. Navy in 1942 to serve in World War II, he picked up the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs. In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of which grew into the Beat Generation, and later the 1960s counterculture.Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris, Berlin, the South American Amazon and Tangier in Morocco. Burroughs accidentally killed his second wife, Joan Vollmer, in 1951 in Mexico City, and was consequently convicted of manslaughter. In the introduction to Queer, a novel written in 1953 but not published until 1985, Burroughs states, "I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would have never become a writer but for Joan’s death ... [S]o the death of Joan brought me into contact with the invader, the Ugly Spirit, and maneuvered me into a lifelong struggle, in which I had no choice except to write my way out". (Queer, 1985, p.xxii). Finding success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), Burroughs is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a controversy-fraught work that underwent a court case under the U.S. sodomy laws. With Brion Gysin, he also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961–64).In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift"

Date Of BirthFebruary 5, 1914
Place Of BirthSt. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Height6' 1" (1.85 m)
ProfessionWriter, Actor, Soundtrack
EducationHarvard University
SpouseIlse von Klapper
SiblingsIvy Lee, maternal uncle, William Seward Burroughs I, grandfather
Star SignAquarius
1Gravelly voice, a fedora tipped to the right with heavy glasses and dark, sardonic sense of humor.
1Be just, and if you can't be just be arbitrary.
2[Naked Lunch] The writer sees himself reading to the mirror as always ... He must check now and again to reassure himself that The Crime Of Separate Action has not, is not, cannot occur ... Anyone who has ever looked into a mirror knows what this crime is and what it means in terms of lost control when the reflection no longer obeys ... Too late to dial Police ... I personally wish to terminate my services as of now in that I cannot continue to sell the raw materials of death ... Yours, sir, is a hopeless case and a noisome one ... "Defense is meaningless in the present state of our knowledge," said The Defense looking up from an electron microscope ... Take your business to Walgreen's. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight. I don't know how to return it to the white reader. You can write or yell or croon about it ... paint about it ... act about it ... shit it out in mobiles . . . So long as you don't go and do it ..
3Smash the control images. Smash the control machine.
4Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
5You see, should I stand in front of a landscape and paint it, I'm completely ignoring the factor of time. While I am painting it, it's changing, clouds are changing, all sorts of things. So there's the myth there of someone creating in a timeless vacuum.
6It is to be remembered that all art is magical in origin - music, sculpture, writing, painting - and by magical I mean intended to produce very definite results. Paintings were originally formulae to make what is painted happen. Art is not an end in itself, any more than Einstein's matter-into-energy formulae is an end in itself. Like all formulae, art was originally FUNCTIONAL, intended to make things happen, the way an atom bomb happens from Einstein's formulae.
7I've seen villages in South America with no police whatever. Then the cops would arrive, then the sanitary inspectors, and before you know it they've got all the problems - crime, juvenile delinquency, the whole works - just like us.
8There is a boy sitting at the counter thin faced, his eyes all pupils, I see he is hooked and sick.
9Do not try and cheat the muse.
10We intend to destroy all dogmatic verbal systems.
11[Naked Lunch, Dr. Benway] Jeder macht eine kleine dummheit.
12Wouldn't it be great, as Scott Peck suggests, if all medical students had to undergo the symptoms and feeling of a spectrum of illnesses. From acute infections to terminal cancer - and Kuru, the laughing sickness. Just a month for each exposure, controlled of course, and a good heavy dose of excruciating pain. So they'll know what that feels like.
13The program of the ruling elite in Orwell's 1984 was: "A foot stamping on a human face forever!" This is naive and optimistic. No species could survive for even a generation under such program. This is not a program of eternal, or even long-range dominance. It is clearly an extermination program.
14Writing prejudicial, off-putting reviews is a precise exercise in applied black magic. The reviewer can draw free-floating disagreeable associations to a book by implying that the book is completely unimportant without saying exactly why, and carefully avoiding any clear images that could capture the reader's full attention
15One very important aspect of art is that it makes people aware of what they know and don't know they know... Once the breakthrough is made, there is a permanent expansion of awareness. But there is always a reaction of rage, of outrage, at the first breakthrough... So the artist, then, expands awareness. And once the breakthrough is made, this becomes part of the general awareness.
16If you wish to alter or annihilate a pyramid of numbers in a serial relation, you alter or remove the bottom number. If we wish to annihilate the junk pyramid, we must start with the bottom of the pyramid: the Addict in the Street, and stop tilting quixotically for the "higher ups" so called, all of whom are immediately replaceable. The addict in the street who must have junk to live is the one irreplaceable factor in the junk equation. When there are no more addicts to buy junk there will be no junk traffic. As long as junk need exists, someone will service it
17There couldn't be a society of people who didn't dream. They'd be dead in two weeks.
18We must all face the fact that our leaders are certifiably insane or worse
19God save the Queen and a fascist regime ... a flabby toothless fascism, to be sure. Never go too far in any direction, is the basic law on which Limey-Land is built. The Queen stabilizes the whole sinking shithouse and keeps a small elite of wealth and privilege on top. The English have gone soft in the outhouse. England is like some stricken beast too stupid to know it is dead. Ingloriously foundering in its own waste products, the backlash and bad karma of empire.
20If a weaker baboon be attacked by a stronger baboon the weaker baboon will either (a) present his hrump fanny I believe is the word, gentlemen, heh heh for passive intercourse or (b) if he is a different type baboon more extrovert and well-adjusted, lead an attack on an even weaker baboon if he can find one.
21If everyone is to be made responsible for everything they do, you must extend responsibility beyond the level of conscious intention.
22Society is cancerous and bureaucracy is its cancer.
23Thanks for the American dream, to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through. Thanks for a country where nobody's allowed to mind their own business.
24I think anybody incapable of changing his mind is crazy.
25A doctor is not criticized for describing the manifestations and symptoms of an illness, even though the symptoms may be disgusting. I feel that a writer has the right to the same freedom. In fact, I think that the time has come for the line between literature and science, a purely arbitrary line, to be erased.
26He asked if I wouldn't like to live completely without problems, say in Greece maybe, nice climate, everything provided? I say: "When we find out what we are actually doing and who we actually are, that is the point of living...it may be only a few seconds...a few seconds of significant actions, out of a lifetime..."
27The best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of time... and you can't see it if you refuse to face the possibility.
28Intelligence and war are games, perhaps the only meaningful games left. If any player becomes too proficient, the game is threatened with termination.
29England has the most sordid literary scene I've ever seen. They all meet in the same pub. This guy's writing a foreword for this person. They all have to give radio programs, they have to do all this just in order to scrape by. They're all scratching each other's backs.
30If, after spending time with a person, you feel as though you've lost a quart of plasma, avoid that person in the future.
31Sometimes paranoia's just having all the facts.
32The way to kill a man or a nation is to cut off his dreams, the way the whites are taking care of the Indians: killing their dreams, their magic, their familiar spirits.
33A consumer society is about simplifying and degrading the consumer as well as the product.
34All abilities are paid for with disabilities. Perfect health may entail the heavy toll of bovine stupidity. Insight into one area involves blind spots in another.
35There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business.
36As soon as you know you are in prison, you have a possibility to escape.
37Many doctors are drawn to this profession (psychology) because they have an innate deficiency of insight into the motives, feelings and thoughts of others, a deficiency they hope to remedy by ingesting masses of data.
38All political movements are basically anti-creative - since a political movement is a form of war. "There's no place for impractical dreamers around here," that's what they always say. "Your writing activities will be directed, kindly stop horsing around."
39A paranoid is someone who has a small idea of what is going on. A psychotic is someone who has found out what is going on.
40Never go into business with a religious SOB, as he'll always have his God telling him how to screw you on the deal.
41The mark of a basic shit is that he can't mind his own business.
42Anyone from outer space would look at this planet and say, 'I want to see the manager'.
43I don't mind people disliking me. The question is, what are they in a position to do about it?
44If civilized countries want to return to Druid Hanging Rites in the Sacred Grove or to drink blood with the Aztecs and feed their Gods with the blood of human sacrifice, let them see what they actually eat and drink. Let them see what is on the end of that long newspaper spoon." -- "Naked Lunch
45A simopath - the technical name for this disorder escapes me - is a citizen convinced that he is an ape or other simian. It is a disorder peculiar to the army, and discharge cures it.
46America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil before the settlers, before the Indians. The evil is there waiting.
47[on his alma mater, Harvard University]: "I hated the University and I hated the town it was in. Everything about the place was dead. The University was a fake English setup taken over by the graduates of fake English public schools."
48The road to the western lands is by far the most heavily guarded and therefore most dangerous road in all the world.
49The face of evil is always the face of total need.
50A functioning police state needs no police.
51Language is a virus from outer space.
52In the U.S., you have to be a deviant or die of boredom.
53Man is an artifact designed for space travel. He is not designed to remain in his present biologic state any more than a tadpole is designed to remain a tadpole.
1Wrote one of the earliest exposes on Scientology.
2Did not start writing until he was 39 years old.
3The prosecution of Burroughs' book "Naked Lunch" by the Comonwealth of Massachusetts is considered the last major obscenity trial in the United States. The book was initially found obscene, but the Massachusetts Supreme Court overturned the decision on appeal in 1966. For the initial trial, Grove Press had gathered together an impressive list of "experts" such as Norman Mailer to defend the book, but Burroughs' modern classic initially lost and was declared obscene in Massachusetts. However, the state Supreme Court (Memoirs v. Massachusetts) found that the book "was not without social value, and therefore, not obscene." With the ruling, an era that began in 1870s when anti-smut crusader Anthony Comstock led the charge for stricter enforcement of obscenity laws by the federal and state governments came to an end.
4Highlander (1986) director Russell Mulcahy bought the rights to Burroughs' novel "The Wild Boys" in the 1980s with the intention of making it into a feature film. When the project fell through, he used the book as the basis for the 1985 Duran Duran video of the same name.
5Produced several albums throughout the 1980s featuring spoken word and his own style of electronic music.
6After shooting his second wife Joan, he fled to Tangiers, Morocco, and remained there for many years, a fugitive in both his birth country of the U.S. and in his adopted homeland of Mexico.
7In 1937, while studying medicine in Germany, he agreed to marry a German Jewish woman named Ilse Herzfeld Klapper so she could escape Nazi persecution and become a U.S. citizen. They never lived together, separating immediately upon entering the U.S., but remained friends, meeting weekly for lunch. Burroughs formally divorced her nine years later so he could marry his second wife, Joan.
8Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 84-87. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
9Created the "cut-up" style of writing along with Brion Gysin, in which sections of a story are cut up and reassembled to create a new story. This technique is similar to the "tape collage" style of experimental music, which Burrough was known to dabble in.
10Was a good friend of Genesis P-Orridge, leader of the avant-garde/industrial band Throbbing Gristle. The two were frequent correspondents and great fans of each others' work, and P-Orridge collaborated with Burroughs on his tape work occasionally.
11Was addicted to heroin. This was a recurring theme throughout many of his novels.
12Lived in Tangiers (Morocco) for several years, partly to avoid the legal and social fallout from shooting his wife when they were living in Mexico and partly because Tangiers was even cheaper to live in than Mexico, which meant that the allowance he got from his family trust fund allowed him to live in luxury.
13Was an heir to the Burroughs Cash Register Co. fortune. A family trust fund allowed him to write without holding other jobs.
14Was a good friend of Kurt Cobain. He was even asked to appear in Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" video as Jesus Christ, but later refused. He made an EP with Cobain titled "The Priest They Called Him".
15In 1951 Burroughs and his common-law wife Joan got drunk at a party in Mexico City, where they were living (he was a heroin addict and she was addicted to Benzedrine, and drugs were easier to come by in Mexico). They decided to do a "William Tell" act with Joan balancing a glass on her head and Burroughs shooting it off with a gun. He missed and Joan was killed. This incident was later worked into the movie adaptation of Burroughs' novel "Naked Lunch" (Naked Lunch (1991)).
16His novel "Naked Lunch" provided the name for the famous rock group Steely Dan. "Steely Dan III From Yokohama" was the name of a rubber phallus used in the book.
17Once lived in a windowless apartment in the basement of what used to be a YMCA. His friends often called the apartment "Bill's Bunker".
18The acknowledgment given to him at the end of the film Blade Runner (1982) was for legal reasons. He had written a screenplay with an identical title (and completely different storyline), but it was never put into production.
19He is featured on the song "Just One Fix" by Ministry with a vocal speaking part. Like frontman Al Jourgensen, Burroughs was also a heroin addict.


The Black Meat2012Short novel Naked Lunch
Nova Express2009novel
The Japanese Sandman2008Short written by
Ghost at No. 92005Documentary short
The Last Words of Dutch Schultz2001Short book "The Last Words of Dutch Schultz: A Fiction in the Form of a Film Script"
Ah Pook Is Here1994Short
The Junky's Christmas1993Short story
Drug-Taking and the Arts1993Documentary novel "The Naked Lunch"
Thanksgiving Prayer1991Short text by
Naked Lunch1991novel
The Black Rider1990TV Movie libretto
Drugstore Cowboy1989additional dialogue - uncredited
Taking Tiger Mountain1983story "Bladerunner"
The Discipline of D.E.1982Short short story
Intercut1980Short book
The Cut Ups1966Short story
Towers Open Fire1963Short writer
William Buys a Parrot1963Documentary short writer


The Book of Life1998Preacher on Radio (voice, uncredited)
The Dark Eye1995Video GameEdwin / Narrator (voice)
Ripley's Believe It or Not!: The Riddle of Master Lu1995Video GamePesky Peasant (as William Lee)
Ah Pook Is Here1994ShortNarrator
The Junky's Christmas1993ShortNarrator (voice)
Thanksgiving Prayer1991ShortA Speaker
Drugstore Cowboy1989Tom the Priest
Bloodhounds of Broadway1989Butler (as William Burroughs)
Twister1989Man in Barn (as William Burroughs)
It Don't Pay to Be an Honest Citizen1984
Decoder1984Old Man
Energy and How to Get It1981Short
The Cut Ups1966Short
Chappaqua1966Opium Jones
Towers Open Fire1963Short
Häxan1922DocumentaryNarrator (1968 re-release) (voice, as William Burroughs)


Independent LensTV Series documentary performer - 1 episode, 2010 writer - 1 episode, 2010
The SopranosTV Series performer - 1 episode, 2006 writer - 1 episode, 2006
Elephant2003performer: "Meeting of International Conference of Technological Psychiatry" / writer: "Meeting of International Conference of Technological Psychiatry"
Modulations1998Documentary "Recalling All Active Agents"
William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers1991Documentary "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt"
Home of the Brave: A Film by Laurie Anderson1986Documentary writer: "Language Is A Virus"


Venus Blue1998Short poetry excerpts - as William Burroughs
Shamans of the Blind Country1981Documentary narrator

Music Department

La derniere enigme1982Short musician


Good Will Hunting1997in memory of
Blade Runner1982thanks: for the use of the title "Blade Runner"


William S. Burroughs in the Dreamachine2015Video documentaryHimself
MENTALLUSIONS: Radical Eclectic Films of Benjamin Meade2012Himself
Corso: The Last Beat2009Documentary
Words of Advice: William S. Burroughs on the Road2007DocumentaryHimself
Ghost at No. 92005Documentary shortHimself
U2: The Best of 1990-20002002Video documentaryOld Man (segment "Last Night on Earth")
Sleep in a Nest of Flames2001DocumentaryHimself
Ministry: Tapes of Wrath2000VideoHimself
Condo Painting2000Documentary
The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation1999DocumentaryHimself
The Nova Convention Revisited: William S. Burroughs and the Arts1998VideoHimself
Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles1998DocumentaryHimself
Reputations1996TV Series documentaryHimself
Relics: Einstein's Brain1994DocumentaryHimself
American Masters1994TV Series documentaryHimself
Great Performances1994TV SeriesHimself
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues1993Himself (as William Burroughs)
Naked Making Lunch1992DocumentaryHimself
Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees1991DocumentaryJames 'Hive' Maker
William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers1991DocumentaryHimself
Heavy Petting1989DocumentaryHimself
Gang of Souls: A Generation of Beat Poets1989DocumentaryHimself
The Beat Generation: An American Dream1987DocumentaryHimself (as William Burroughs)
Pirate Tape1987ShortHimself
Home of the Brave: A Film by Laurie Anderson1986DocumentaryHimself
What Happened to Kerouac?1986DocumentaryHimself (as William Burroughs)
Ornette: Made in America1985DocumentaryHimself
Kerouac, the Movie1985DocumentaryHimself (novelist)
Ajankohtainen kakkonen1983TV SeriesHimself
Burroughs: The Movie1983Documentary
Arena1981-1983TV Series documentaryHimself
The Dream Machine1983Documentary shortHimself
Poetry in Motion1982DocumentaryHimself
Saturday Night Live1981TV SeriesHimself
Castelporziano, ostia dei poeti1980TV Movie documentaryHimself
Fried Shoes Cooked Diamonds1979DocumentaryHimself
Underground and Emigrants1976Documentary
Image Is Virus1975Documentary shortHimself
Bill and Tony1972ShortHimself
Cain's Film1969Documentary shortHimself
Poem Posters1966ShortHimself
William Buys a Parrot1963Documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

Uncle Howard2016/IDocumentaryHimself
Cinemassacre's Monster Madness2014TV Series documentaryNarrator
Beat Generation2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
Neurons to Nirvana2013Documentary
Out-Takes from the Life of a Happy Man2012DocumentaryHimself
For No Good Reason2012DocumentaryHimself
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye2011DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
William S. Burroughs: A Man Within2010DocumentaryHimself
Nova Express2009Narrator
Chelsea on the Rocks2008DocumentaryHimself
Speak Out2007TV Movie
Wanderlust2006TV Movie documentaryTom the Priest
Absolute Wilson2006DocumentaryHimself
SexTV2006TV Series documentaryHimself
Silenci?2005TV SeriesHimself
Elephant2003Voice (text excerpts) (uncredited)
Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man2003DocumentaryHimself
The Battle for 'I Am Curious-Yellow'2003Video documentary shortHimself
Destroy All Rational Thought1998VideoHimself
Arena1994TV Series documentaryHimself
Laurie Anderson: Collected Videos1990VideoHimself (uncredited)
Sonic Youth: Teenage Riot1988Video shortHimself (uncredited)
La edad de oro1984TV SeriesHimself

Known for movies

IMDB Wikipedia

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