Beat Generation poet, author, and playwright known for Love Lion Book, The Beard, and other works. Also a journalist, he wrote for Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications.
He published his first poetry volume, Passage, in 1956.
He was the inspiration for the character of "Pat McLear" in Jack Kerouac's famous novel Big Sur.
He was born in Kansas, and he later settled in California. With his wife Joanna, he had one daughter.
He and rock musician Jim Morrison were close friends.