Writer and rocker Jim Carroll dies

The Associated PressSeptember 15, 2009 

Jim Carroll, the poet and punk rocker who wrote "The Basketball Diaries," died Friday. He was 60.

He died from a heart attack at his home in Manhattan, his ex-wife Rosemary Carroll told The New York Times.

In the 1970s, Carroll was a fixture of the burgeoning downtown New York art scene, where he mixed with artists such as Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, Larry Rivers and Robert Mapplethorpe. His life was shaped by drug use, which he wrote about extensively.

Carroll also published several poetry collections, while his 1980 album, "Catholic Boy," has been hailed as a landmark punk record, and he became known for one of its songs, "People Who Died."

But it was "The Basketball Diaries," his autobiographical tale of life as a sports star at Trinity, an elite private high school in Manhattan, that brought him his widest audience.

The book, which began as a journal, was first published in 1978 and then became even more popular, particularly on college campuses, when it was issued as a mass-market paperback two years later. A 1995 movie version starred Leonardo DiCaprio.

With Smith, who encouraged his music, he formed the Jim Carroll Band. Among his other albums were the less successful "Dry Dreams" (1982) and "I Write Your Name" (1984).

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