The Last Beat Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti Is Dead At 101

The poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who owned and operated City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, and the last surviving member of the Beat Generation, has died. He was 101 years-old.

Above: Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside of City Lights Bookstore in 2013. (Stacey Lewis / Stacey Lewis)

The Los Angeles Times: Ferlinghetti, the San Francisco poet, publisher and bookseller who played a leading role in West Coast literary history as a champion of Beat writer Allen Ginsberg and co-founder of the legendary City Lights bookstore, has died at his Bay Area home.

Ferlinghetti and a partner launched City Lights as the country’s first all-paperback bookstore in 1953, when Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and other East Coast Beats began adding their woolly voices to the literary renaissance unfolding in San Francisco.

The bookshop — renowned for its bohemian atmosphere and vast collections of international poetry, fiction, progressive political journals and magazines — soon spawned a literary press, which in 1956 published Ginsberg’s controversial epic poem, “Howl.”

Ferlinghetti died Monday evening, according to Starr Sutherland, a friend who is working on a documentary on the fabled bookstore. The cause was interstitial lung disease, his son Lorenzo told the Associated Press .