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Ted Morgan Collection of William S. Burroughs Research

Identifier: MS-MS-ms150

The Ted Morgan Collection of William S. Burroughs consists of research material collected by the author, Ted Morgan, who wrote the definitive biography of Burroughs, Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. BurroughsThis research material includes first editions, primary sources, secondary material relating to Burroughs and his circle of friends and associates. In addition, there is original correspondence, printed ephemera, recordings and background books relating to the writers and the period.


  • Creation: 1965-2013


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


3.00 boxes

Biographical Information

Ted Morgan (March 30, 1932 - ) is a French-American biographer, journalist, and historian.  Born Comte St. Charles Armand Gabriel de Gramont in Geneva, Morgan attended Yale University and worked as a reporter. As a member of the French nobility, Morgan was drafted into the French Army where he served during the Algerian War from 1955 to 1957.

Following his military service, Morgan returned to the United States and won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1961. At the time, Morgan was still a French citizen writing under the name of "Sanche de Gramont."  In 1977, Morgan renounced his titles of nobility and became an American citizen.

Morgan has written much-admired biographies of Winston Churchill, William S. Burroughs, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and W. Somerset Maugham.

William Seward Burroughs II (February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studied English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and later attended medical school in Vienna. After being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and U.S. Navy in 1942 to serve in World War II, he dropped out and became afflicted with the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs. In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of what became the countercultural movement of the Beat Generation.

Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris, Berlin, the South American Amazon and Tangier in Morocco. Finding success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), Burroughs is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a controversy-fraught work that underwent a court case under the U.S. sodomy laws. With Brion Gysin, he also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961–64). In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Source of Acquisition

Accession number 2014.001. Purchased from Florian J. Shasky Rare Books and Manuscripts, January 2, 2014

Related Materials

See also the William S. Burroughs Collections (VMF234)

Ted Morgan Collection of William S. Burroughs Research
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Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 23: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495