Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goodbye to the Author of "Catcher in the Rye"

Obviously, J.D. Salinger will forever be remembered as a reclusive but brilliant author. Yet when pop culture addicts like us caught news of his death yesterday at the age of 91, we couldn’t help but recall his most notorious celebrity connections.

For not only was Salinger's anti-social poster child, Holden Caulfield, connected to the Mark David Chapman murder of John Lennon in 1980, but he also was linked to John Hinckley Jr.'s assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

It seems both troubled men looked to Caulfield as a kindred spirit. Chapman had a copy of "Catcher in the Rye" with him when he shot Lennon outside New York's Dakota apartment building and quoted the book in his subsequent police statement. Ironically, some reports say that Lennon was also reading the same Salinger novel at the time of his death.

Hinckley, whose attempt on Ronald Reagan is more commonly associated with his obsession with Jodie Foster, had a copy of "Catcher" in his hotel room.

Salinger died of natural causes on Wednesday at his home in New Hampshire. If the dark connections to "Catcher in the Rye" are too much for you, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of "Franny and Zooey." You'll be glad you did.

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