Ken Kesey

Kenneth Elton Kesey (1935 - 2001)

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Kenneth Elton (Ken) Kesey
Born in La Junta, Otero, Colorado, USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of [private wife (1940s - unknown)]
Husband of [private wife (1930s - unknown)]
Father of
Died in Eugene, Lane, Oregonmap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Aug 2015 | Last significant change: 3 Dec 2018
22:19: Colleen (Rodgers) Bake edited the Biography for Kenneth Elton Kesey (1935-2001). (category) [Thank Colleen for this]
This page has been accessed 601 times.

Categories: Authors | American Authors | American Notables.


Ken Kesey is Notable.

Kesey experimented with LSD before it was illegal, in a program which was later revealed to be run by the CIA, through the Veterans Administration hospital at Menlo Park, CA. He also worked at that same hospital during the same time period. These experiences inspired his first successful novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." The movie based on the novel won five major Oscars: Best Actor ( Jack Nicholson), Best Actress ( Louise Fletcher), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture and Best Director. It also featured Scatman Crothers. His next novel "Sometimes a Great Notion" was also made into a movie, this time nominated for two Oscars.

He continued to use LSD as well as promote its use by others, including at parties called Acid Tests. A cross-country trip in a psychedelic bus named Furthur with a group known as the Merry Pranksters is chronicled by Tom Wolfe in his book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." The bus was driven by Neal Cassady.

Kesey competed as a wrestler in college. According to Wikipedia, his winning percentage ranks in the top ten of Oregon competitors to this day.

Cause of death was complications from surgery for liver cancer.


  2. Wikipedia
  3. IMDB
  4. Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission
  6. "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch ( : 20 May 2014), Ken E Kesey, 10 Nov 2001; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

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No known carriers of Ken's Y-chromosome or his mother's 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: 4
Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey

One Flew East, One Flew West...
One Flew East, One Flew West...

The Bus
The Bus

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe


Ken is 29 degrees from Rosa Parks, 27 degrees from Anne Tichborne 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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