William S. Burroughs was born on February 5, 1914 in St Louis. Despite graduating from Harvard in 1936 with a degree in English Literature, Burroughs spent a number of his early years working in a variety of often unpleasant positions, including those of cockroach exterminator, factory worker and advertising copywriter. In work and in life he expressed a constant subversion of the morality, politics and economics of modern America. To escape these, and in particular his treatment as a homosexual and a drug-user, Burroughs left the US in 1950, and soon after began writing. By the time of his death he was widely recognised as one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the twentieth century. His numerous books include Naked Lunch, Junky, Queer, Nova Express, Interzone, and The Wild Boys. After living in Mexico City, Tangier, Paris, and London, Burroughs finally returned to America in 1974, settling in Lawrence, Kansas, where he lived and worked until his death in 1997.