Kentucky author and ‘Merry Prankster’ Ed McClanahan dies


FILE – Author Ed McClanahan poses at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, Ky., on Dec. 4, 2018. McClanahan, a Kentucky author, teacher and friend of counterculture icon Ken Kesey, died Saturday at his home in Lexington, according to his wife. He was 89. (Tom Eblen/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP, File)

LEXINGTON, KY (AP) — Kentucky author Ed McClanahan has died at his home at the age of 89.

McClanahan was a friend of counterculture icon Ken Kesey, who wrote “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” McClanahan was born in Brooksville in Bracken County. In 1962, he was at Stanford University when he met Kesey, and Kesey’s band of Merry Pranksters.

McClanahan was known as “Captain Kentucky,” and wore costumes while traveling with the LSD-fueled group. The communal travelers’ exploits were chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s 1968 book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.”

McClanahan was inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame in 2019. He died Saturday at his Lexington home.

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