Monday, February 10, 2020

Remembering Stella Sampas, Jack Kerouac's third wife

Jack Kerouac and Stella Sampas Kerouac
Today -- February 10 -- we remember Stellas Sampas, who died on this date in 1990. Jack's third wife, she appeared in one Kerouac work, Vanity of Duluoz, as Stavroula Savakis.

Stella inherited Jack's estate when Jack's mom, Gabrielle, died in 1973, triggering the well-known Kerouac estate controversy over the forged will (so said a judge) and endless vitriole on-line about the whole matter. The Sampas family controls the estate to this day. For an insider's look at estate details, grab a copy of Kerouac: The Last Quarter Century by Gerald Nicosia (reviewed here).

Jack was a lifelong friend of Stella, who was the sister of  his closest childhood friend, Sebastian Sampas. Most would agree that theirs was mainly a marriage of convenience (she looked after Jack's invalid mother). Nevertheless, she played a major role in the Kerouac saga.

RIP, Mrs. Kerouac.


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