Kesey, Ken

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Kesey, Ken Gender: M
Kenneth Elton Kesey
born on 17 September 1935 at 16:24 (= 4:24 PM )
Place La Junta, Colorado, 37n59, 103w33
Timezone MST h7w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Steinbrecher
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 24°07' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 04°19 Asc.s_aqucol.18.gif 18°43'

Ken Kesey
photo: MDCarchives, license gfdl


American actor and novelist who worked at various times as a logger, a mental-hospital attendant, a farmer and musician in a band. He became famous for writing "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in 1962, which was made into a film in 1975. The film starred Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, was produced by Michael Douglas and directed by Miloš Forman. He won the Robert Kirsch Award given by the Los Angeles Times in 1991 for his body of work.

He attended the University of Oregon, receiving a BA in 1957 and going on to study writing at Stanford, 1958-59. He was on the wrestling team. Kesey volunteered for drug experiments run by the government prior to the time that Timothy Leary started his experiments in psychedelics. His job as a psychiatric attendant for the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Menlo Park, CA in 1961 provided background for his most famous work, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." In 1962 Kesey sold the movie rights for $28,000. The film won five Oscars and reportedly made $50 million in gross earnings.

He was an inspiration for many young people. With an ear for dialog and the ability to create characters that live on the page, all of his works are about prisoners, some who realize their position and rail against it, others who are just doing their time. An old fashioned kind of writer, Kesey is a moral critic. His second novel "Sometimes a Great Notion" was published in 1964. Famous for being famous, he is not taken very seriously and finds it difficult to observe people while being observed.

A major counter culture figure in the 1960's, he and his band, The Merry Pranksters, made a cross-country drug-fueled trip in a psychedelic painted bus called "Further" that was chronicled by Tom Wolfe in his book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." This bus may have inspired The Who's "Magic Bus" and the Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour." The Smithsonian Institution has asked several times that the bus be donated, but it is still on the road. Described as "going a little nuts and then disappearing," after being arrested on marijuana charges, Kesey took off to Mexico. He later spent some months in jail.

In 1965 he purchased a farm in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, converting the barn to living quarters. Many of the outbuildings on the farm were built by The Merry Pranksters.

Kesey married his high school sweetheart, Faye, and they had four children. He has always been close to family. His son Jed, who died on a University of Oregon wrestling team trip, is buried on the farm.

Kesey was diagnosed with diabetes in 1992. He suffered a stroke 23 September 1997 after an afternoon nap at his home in Pleasant Hill from which he recovered but which affected his right arm.

Kesey died on 10 November 2001, two weeks after cancer surgery to remove 40% of his liver, Grants Pass, OR.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Krassner, Paul (born 9 April 1932). Notes: Members of the Merry Pranksters
  • friend relationship with Cassady, Neal (born 8 February 1926). Notes: Members of the Merry Pranksters


  • Social : End a program of study 1957 (Earned B.A.)
  • Social : Begin a program of study 1958 (Began study of writing at Stanford)
  • Work : New Job 1961 in Menlo Park (Mental hospital orderly)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1962 (Book, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest")
  • Financial : Buy/Sell Property 1962 (Film rights to "One Flew Over...")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1964 (Book, "Sometimes a Great Notion")
  • Financial : Buy/Sell Property 1965 in Pleasant Hill (Purchased farm)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1975 (Book turned film, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest")
  • Work : Prize 1991 (Robert Kirsch Award)
  • Health : Medical diagnosis 23 September 1997 in Pleasant Hill (Stroke; recovered fully)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Health : Medical procedure October 2001 (Surgery for tumor on liver mid-October)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Disease 10 November 2001 (Liver cancer, age 66)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

B.R. in hand from Steinbrecher (Same Contemporary American Horoscopes, Gauquelin Book of American Charts

Astrologer Marv Krenk quotes Kesey's mother, a family friend, who said 4:20 PM, and she was sure of the time, email of LMR on 11/28/2001.


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive (Studied writing at Stanford)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke (Recovered, affected right arm)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Drugs (Once jailed six months)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage - Compatible (Married high-school sweetheart)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
  • Family : Parenting : Extraordinarily nurturing (Devoted family man)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Four)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids -Traumatic event (Son died on wrestling trip)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Many job changes
  • Lifestyle : Work : Travel for work (Travel with band)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Travel (Some time in Mexico)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Drug business (Arrested on marijuana charges)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Prison sentence (Time in jail)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Group/ Duo (The Merry Pranksters)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist
  • Vocation : Medical : Nurse/ Nurse's Aids (Mental hospital orderly)
  • Vocation : Medical : Technician (Test subject for experiments)
  • Vocation : Sports : Wrestling (On college wrestling team)
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction
  • Vocation : Writers : Playwright/ script (Script, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest")
  • Vocation : Misc. : Farmer/ Rancher
  • Vocation : Misc. : Physical labor (Logger)
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Robert Kirsch Award)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection