Ken Kesey was one of the greatest and most unique authors of our time. He lived a very interesting life and was an important literary figure. Kesey helped influence the countercultural revolution and the hippie movement of the 1960s. In 1962, Kesey wrote the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest that was considered an instant classic by many people and very controversial. It contained many counterculture themes like freedom from authority and a more liberated view of sexuality ("About One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"). The book was a product of the personal experiences of Kesey and it was an expression to the historical and social influences of that time. .
On September 17, 1935, Ken Kesey was born on a farm in the town of La Junta, Colorado. Kesey was raised in a religious household that had a great appreciation for Christian morals and values. He enjoyed hearing many Christian fables when he was young and was also a firm believer in the Christian ethical system. Eventually, he moved with his family to another farm in Springfield, Oregon and spent most of his early years hunting, fishing, swimming, wrestling, and playing football. Kesey was a champion wrestler that set long-standing state records in Oregon while attending high school and later in college. He was a star football player as well and was even voted "most likely to succeed" by his high school peers ("Biography of Ken Kesey").
After high school, Kesey attended the University of Oregon with a degree in Speech and Communications and participated in theater productions in his spare time. On graduating he received the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship that was a scholarship for the Creative Writing program at Stanford ("About One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"). However, Kesey's life began to undergo a dramatic change while he was at Stanford. He started participating in various experiments that involved chemicals at the psych department at the college to earn some extra money.