Lawrence Ferlinghetti 1988 AP

San Francisco has lost a major literary and cultural influencer with the death of poet, publisher and bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He became a household name in the mid-1950s for publishing “Beat” poet Allen Ginsburg’s book-length poem “Howl,” then successfully defending it on obscenity charges. Ferlinghetti also published, hosted and promoted other “Beat” poets, but he was not one himself; he was a generation older, one of the last “bohemian” poets whose own work was often optimistic and childlike as he played with unusual spellings, spacing and sentence structure. As much as anyone, he gave San Francisco its freewheeling reputation for creativity, self-expression and social justice. Above: outside his store, City Lights, in 1988. (AP)

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