William Seward Burroughs was an American novelist, essayist, spoken word performer, who lived in many well-known cities like Tanger, Paris, Mexico City and London. (Kirjasto) William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis, Missouri in February 5, 1914 into a successful business family. His mother was a descendent of Robert E. Lee, the inventor of the Burroughs adding machine. "As a boy," he recalled, "I was much plagued by nightmares. I remember a nurse telling me that opium gives you sweet dreams, and I resolved that I would smoke opium when I grew up." ("William S. Burroughs") Burroughs graduated with a degree in English literature from Harvard University in 1936. Burroughs died in Lawrence on August 2, 1997.