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.
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 .