Jim Morrison ( December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971 )
James Douglas Morrison was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, to Clara Virginia (née Clarke) and Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison, USN. His ancestors were Scottish, Irish, and English. Admiral Morrison commanded United States naval forces during the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which provided the pretext for the US involvement in the Vietnam War in 1965. Morrison had a younger sister, Anne Robin, who was born in 1947 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and a younger brother, Andrew Lee Morrison, who was born in 1948 in Los Altos, California.
A voracious reader from an early age, Morrison was particularly inspired by the writings of several philosophers and poets. Some of his formative influences were Plutarch's Parallel Lives and the works of the French Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud, whose style would later influence the form of Morrison's short prose poems
In the summer of 1965, after graduating with a bachelor's degree from the UCLA film school, Morrison led a bohemian lifestyle in Venice Beach. Living on the rooftop of a building inhabited by his old UCLA cinematography friend, Dennis Jacobs, he wrote the lyrics of many of the early songs the Doors would later perform live and record on albums, such as "Moonlight Drive" and "Hello, I Love You." According to Manzarek, he lived on canned beans and LSD for several months.
Together with keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Morrison co-founded the Doors during the summer of 1965 in Venice, California. Guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore completed the band. The band spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their number-one single in the United States, "Light My Fire," taken from their self-titled debut album. They became one of the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison's lyrics and his erratic stage persona, and the group was widely regarded as representative of the era's counterculture.
The band took its name from the title of Aldous Huxley's book The Doors of Perception, itself a reference to a quote by William Blake. After signing with Elektra Records, the Doors released eight albums in five years. Due to Jim's poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, wild personality, performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock history. Since his death, his fame has endured as one of popular culture's most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.