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11/10/1 Obit: Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey, 1935-2001.

Author Ken Kesey died today due to complications from liver surgery for cancer.

Kesey was best known for his novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" and many counterculture activities throughout the '60s, most notably as a member of the "Merry Pranksters," a troupe of writers and hippies who crossed the country in a psychedelic bus named "Further." Author, Thomas Wolfe and beat generation icon Neal Cassady were also members. Wolf later detailed the exploits of the Pranksters in his book, "“The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.”

In addition to the popular, "Cuckoos Nest," Kesey also penned the acclaimed, "Sometimes a Great Notion," before a 28-year book sabbatical that ended with 1991's "Sailor Song."

Kesey also wrote several children's books in his later years. The most successful, “Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear,” is in the Library of Congress's list of suggested children's books.

Kesey was preceded in death by his son, Jed, who was killed in a 1984 van accident while competing on his high school wrestling team.