|Herbert Huncke (L) and Amiri Baraka|
Kerouac muse Herbert Huncke and noted writer Amiri Baraka share this date, Huncke having been born on January 9, 1915 and Baraka having died on January 9, 2014.
Huncke was Elmer Hassel in Kerouac's On The Road; Huck in Desolation Angels, Book of Dreams, and Visions of Cody; Hunkey in Lonesome Traveler; and Junkey in The Town and the City. Baraka appeared under his actual former name, Leroi Jones, in Lonesome Traveler.
Both of these Kerouac contemporaries led fascinating lives and I encourage you to read up on them if you are not already familiar with their stories. Kerouac is often credited with coining the phrase, "Beat Generation," and he likely got the term "beat" from Huncke (click here for bio). Baraka was an accomplished poet and activist -- click here for some biographical info on him as well as some of his poems.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Huncke and RIP, Mr. Baraka.