Monday, August 3, 2009

comedian lenny bruce died of a drug overdose 43 years ago today

on august 3, 1966, lenny bruce was found dead of a drug overdose - he was only 40 years old. his career as a cutting edge comic was repeatedly interrupted by arrest and prosecution because local authorities thought his act was indecent. between the years 1961 and 1964 bruce was arrested multiple times in san francisco, denver, los angeles, and new york city.

bruce was also arrested and prosecuted here in new york city. following a highly publicized six month long trial, he was convicted on obscenity charges in november, 1964. bruce was given a four month sentence which, thankfully, he never served because bruce was granted bail during the appeals process.

what was truly obscene, in my opinion, was the persecution on this iconic comedian. it took 40 years, but on december 3, 2004, then-governor pataki granted lenny bruce a posthumous pardon - the first in new york history.

check out dustin hoffman's portrayal of lenny bruce in bob fosse's "lenny."

r.i.p. lenny bruce


susan said...

Hi Frank! It's been awhile...belated congratulations and much respect on your Vermont finish!! Nice work, there! I finished reading River of Doubt that weekend, so your adventure and Roosevelt's are kinda mixed up in my brain. What a great read! Started Team of Rivals--also interesting. Thanks for all the advice!
see you soon, I hope.

rundangerously said...

thanks susan! missed you at the last few b.u.s. events? are you doing either of the 6 hour races?

the new teddy roosevelt book by douglas brinkley looks really good. it's on my must-read list