Dean is born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grows up in Colorado. His father is an alcoholic hobo who abandons the family when Dean is a child; Dean searches for his father for many years, to no avail. He learns to steal cars at a young age, and spends his youth in and out of juvenile detention centers.
Throughout the novel, Dean races from journey to journey and pulls other people along, including the novel's protagonist, Sal Paradise. Dean's various fixations include drugs, women, intellectualism and finally, his father and family life. He is a womanizer who lives for "kicks". His main romantic connections in the book are Camille, his wife and mother of his two children, and Mary Lou, a sexually voracious girl who accompanies him and Sal on their cross-country journey. Eventually, Camille divorces him. Sal last sees him standing on a corner in New York City, alone but free, and shares a brief but meaningful exchange with him before moving on.
In other media
Dean Moriarty is a character in the Disney TV show Wizards Of Waverly Place.
The American folk-rock band Aztec Two-Step featured a track entitled "The Persecution & Restoration of Dean Moriarty (On the Road)" on their self-titled debut album.
- Bignell, Paul (July 29, 2007). "On the Road (uncensored). Discovered: Kerouac "cuts"". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
- Comparing Dean Moriarty to Neal Cassady
- Lyrics to the Aztec Two-Step song "The Persecution & Restoration of Dean Moriarty (On the Road)"
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