1 August 1950
11 September 2009 (aged 59)
Jim Carroll (August 1, 1950-September 11, 2009) was an author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician. Carroll is best known for his 1978 novel The Basketball Diaries, which was made into a movie in 1995 starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Raised in New York City, Carroll who attended several Catholic Grammar Schools from 1955 to 1963. In fall 1963, he entered public school, but was soon awarded a scholarship to the elite Trinity High School (a private school). He entered Trinity High School in 1964.
Apart from being interested in writing, Carroll was a passionate basketball player throughout his grade school and middle school career. He entered the "Biddy League" at age 13 and participated in the National High School All Star Game in 1966, hence the title of his most famous book.
As a teenager, Carroll was a heroin addict who sometimes prostituted himself to afford his habit. The novel The Basketball Diaries concerns his life in New York City's hard drug culture and his struggle to rid himself of his addiction.
Carroll published his first book, Organic Trains, at age 17. Several of his poems have been published in such magazines as Paris Review and Poetry. In 1970, his second collection of poems, 4 Ups and 1 Down was published. That same year, Carroll started working for Andy Warhol. At first, he was writing film dialogue and inventing character names; later on, Carroll worked as the co-manager of Warhol's Theater. Carroll's first above-ground publication, the collection Living At The Movies was published in 1973.
He formed The Jim Carroll Band, a New Wave/punk rock group, in 1980. Their biggest commercial success was the single "People Who Died," from their debut album, Catholic Boy. He has also collaborated with many influential punk and hard rock musicians, including Lou Reed, Blue Öyster Cult, Boz Scaggs and Rancid.
Carroll died on September 11, 2009 of a heart attack. He was 60.
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