Charles Bukowski was born in Germany in 1920, the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. At the age of three, he came with his family to the United States and grew up in Los Angeles. He attended Los Angeles City College from 1939 to 1941, then left school and moved to New York City to become a writer. His lack of publishing success at this time caused him to give up writing in 1946 and spurred a ten-year stint of heavy drinking. After he developed a bleeding ulcer, he decided to take up writing again. He worked a wide range of jobs to support his writing, including dishwasher, truck driver and loader, mail carrier, guard, gas station attendant, stock boy, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, post office clerk, parking lot attendant, Red Cross orderly, and elevator operator. He also worked in a dog biscuit factory, a slaughterhouse, a cake and cookie factory, and he hung posters in New York City subways.
|Portrait of author Charles Bukowski, now available as a large (very) limited edition print, can be ordered here:|
This is my newly completed portrait of Charles Bukowski, who I never met, although I illustrated a series of his short stories ("Notes of a Dirty Old Man") for High Times magazine in 1993 when he had (briefly) become a regular contributer. (Robert Crumb has also drawn Bukowski and his stories on numerous occasions) Bukowski was very pleased with my depictions of his sad characters and sent this letter to the editor, Larry "Ratso" Sloman:
|This is the artwork for the story he's referring to, "There's No Business like Show Business",|
from the April 1983 issue of High Times:
Bukowski biography notes via Good Reads