Jim Carroll

A respected American poet and author who enjoyed a side career as a rock singer, Jim Carroll was born August 1, 1949 in New York City. While a scholarship student at Trinity School in the 1960s he became both a talented basketball player and a heroin addict. He also published his first collection of poetry. He wrote about his high school years, including the hustling he did to feed his drug habit, in the 1978 memoir The Basketball Diaries, which would be adapted into a feature film nearly 20 years later. He put his drug addiction behind him for good by the end of the seventies and relocated to the west coast where he formed The Jim Carroll Band, a punk band in the mold of his friend Patti Smith. Their 1980 debut LP Catholic Boy included what would become their most iconic song, “People Who Died”, a heartbreaking description of the people Jim Carroll saw die during his addiction. The song never became a hit, but did become beloved by those in the know and it would appear often in movies even forty years after its release. After three more albums, he disbanded the group and returned to writing poetry and spoken-word performing. Jim Carroll passed away on September 11, 2009.

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