NEW YORK (Reuters) - Punk-rock poet and musician Jim Carroll, who chronicled his wild teen years in “The Basketball Diaries,” has died of a heart attack, his ex-wife told The New York Times.
Rosemary Klemfuss, who was married to Carroll in 1978 before they divorced in the mid-1980s, said he died on Friday at his Manhattan home. He was 60, the newspaper said on Sunday, although other biographical profiles listed his age as 59.
Carroll’s most famous work, “The Basketball Diaries,” was published in 1978. In it, he wrote of his wild youth as both a basketball star and a drug abuser during his teen years at Manhattan’s private Trinity school, was made into a 1995 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Pioneering punk-rock singer Patti Smith told the newspaper “I met him in 1970, and already he was pretty much universally recognized as the best poet of his generation.”
“The work was sophisticated and elegant,” said Smith, who helped usher Carroll into a music career that included songs such as “People Who Died” and “Catholic Boy.”
Carroll also worked with rockers from Lou Reed and The Doors to Pearl Jam and Rancid.
Carroll, a fixture on Manhattan’s downtown punk-rock scene, saw his poetry lauded by Beat Generation icons including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. His work was published in The Paris Review, and he worked at Andy Warhol’s Factory and on the pop artist’s films.
Writing by Chris Michaud, editing by Todd Eastham