- Mary C. Kalfatovic
Kesey, Ken (17 September 1935–10 November 2001), author, was born Ken Elton Kesey in La Junta, Colorado, the son of Fred Kesey, a dairy farmer, and Geneva Smith Kesey. He was brought up as a strict Baptist. In his early childhood Kesey moved with his family to Springfield, Oregon, where his father and maternal grandparents ran a creamery. As a youth Kesey spent much of his time hunting, fishing, swimming, and working on his family's farm, which helped form the strong sense of the natural environment that runs through Kesey's fiction. An excellent student and athlete at local public schools, Kesey as a teenager was also an accomplished magician and performed at various Oregon venues, including local television stations. In 1953 Kesey entered the University of Oregon, where he majored in speech and communications and played on the football and wrestling teams. Of medium height, with a muscular, athletic build, curly red hair, and blue eyes, Kesey spent summers during college in Los Angeles trying his hand at movie acting. In 1956 he married Faye Haxby, a fellow student. The couple had three children....