Poet, Punk Rocker Jim Carroll Dead at 60

Won fame with The Basketball Diaries
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2009 5:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Poet and punk rocker Jim Carroll, 60, died of a heart attack Friday in his Manhattan home, the New York Times reports. Carroll is best known for The Basketball Diaries, a book about his experiences as a heroin-addicted basketball star in a New York City private school. A consummate New Yorker, Carroll spent his youth under the wing of beat poets Ginsburg and Kerouac, and later as a fixture in Warhol's Factory.

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His looks and dramatic flair also suited him to the punk rock world. Catholic Boy, the 1980 first release of the Jim Carroll Band, has been called the last great punk album. Musical collaborator Patti Smith said Carroll was "pretty much universally recognized as the best poet of his generation. The work was sophisticated and elegant. He had beauty.” (Read more Jim Carroll stories.)

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