Neal Cassady

Neal Leon Cassady (1926 - 1968)

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Neal Leon "Cowboy Neal" Cassady
Born in Salt Lake City, Utahmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexicomap
Profile last modified | Created 3 Aug 2017
This page has been accessed 649 times.

Categories: Bus Drivers | United States, Cassidy Name Study.

Neal Cassady is notable.
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Neal was born in 1926 to parents Maude Jean (Scheuer) and Neal Marshall Cassady. His mother died when he was 10 and he was raised by his alcoholic father in Denver, Colorado. Neal lived on the streets and had a nomadic life where he was frequently in trouble with the law for petty crime and drugs.

In 1946, Neal met Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in New York City and became a legendary member of the Beat Generation. Neal was immortalized in Kerouac's book On the Road as the character Dean Moriarty. Cassady was arrested for selling marijuana in 1958 and spent two years in San Quentin Prison. After he got out, he joined Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters and drove the Bus named "Furthur" in the summer of 1964. You were either on the Bus or off the Bus. Their adventures were chronicled by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

He died on February 4,1968 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico after passing out on the railroad tracks while walking home from a party. The cause of death was exposure, although drugs and alcohol may have been involved. [1] [2]

Cassady was a writer in his own right. He was the author of The First Third, recollections of his adventures with Kerouac, and Grace Beats Karma, a selection of his letters from prison. A long-lost letter that Cassady wrote to Jack Kerouac in 1950 was found in the archives of the Golden Goose Press which were sold at auction by Christie's on June 16, 2016 for $21,250.

There are many references to Cassady and Kerouac in music and literature. The King Crimson album Beat is an homage to the Beat Generation and features a song called "Neal and Jack and Me." [3] Robert Anton Wilson created a character for one of his plays called Kerouacidy, a composite of Kerouac and Cassady.

John Perry Barlow (RIP February 8, 2018) and Bob Weir wrote a song called "Cassidy" that was performed by the Grateful Dead. The Cassidy in the title was the name of a child of a Grateful Dead associate, but also refers to Neal Cassady. Here is a sample of the lyrics:

"Lost now on the country miles in his Cadillac. I can tell by the way you smile, he is rolling back. Come wash the nighttime clean, come grow the scorched ground green. Blow the horn, and tap the tambourine. Close the gap of the dark years in between. You and me, Cassidy."[4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

1930 US Census:

  • Neal Cassidy Head M 37 Missouri
  • Jean Cassidy Wife F 38 Iowa
  • Neal Cassidy Jr. Son M 4 Utah
  • Betty Daly Stepdaughter F 10 Colorado
  • James R Daly Stepson M 8 Colorado[10]

1940 US Census:

  • Neal Cassidy Head M 47 Missouri
  • Neal L Cassidy Son M 14 Utah
  • Shirley J Cassidy Daughter F 9 Colorado[11]


  1. "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch ( : 19 May 2014), Neal Cassady, Feb 1968; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  10. "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 October 2017), Neal Cassidy Jr. in household of Neal Cassidy, Denver, Denver, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 186, sheet 16A, line 17, family 314, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 239; FHL microfilm 2,339,974.
  11. "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 October 2017), Neal L Cassidy in household of Neal Cassidy, Tract 24, Denver, Election District V, Denver, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 16-250B, sheet 3B, line 54, family 78, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 492.

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No known carriers of Neal's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 6
Neal Cassady (left) and Jack Kerouac (right)
Neal Cassady (left) and Jack Kerouac (right)

Neal Cassady and Tim Leary on the Bus
Neal Cassady and Tim Leary on the Bus

Death Certificate of Neal Cassady
Death Certificate of Neal Cassady

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
On the Road by Jack Kerouac


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Neal is 20 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 20 degrees from Katy Jurado and 21 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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