Born into a wealthy family, Burroughs grew up surrounded by luxury. After studying English literature, medicine and anthropology, and stay for a while in the Army, he moved to New York, where he developed a strong addiction to heroin that lasted more than fifteen years. In his time as a drug addict, Burroughs lived in Texas, New Orleans, Tangiers, Paris, London, Mexico and other Latin American countries.
Burroughs influenced the world of rock from Bowie Cobain and a certain kind of cinema and painting. Along with other representatives of the counterculture poets like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, symbolized the bohemian life, the rebellion against the established order and nonconformity, flag the Beat Generation.
His best known novels are Junkie (1953) and Naked Lunch (1959), written during his stay in Morocco, published in Paris, propelled him to fame and infamy: It was censored in the US for seven years.