John Kennedy Toole was born on 17 December 1937 in New Orleans. His father, John Dewey Toole Jr. (b. 1899 – d. 1972), was a car salesman of Irish ancestry; his mother, Thelma Agnes Ducoing (b. 1901 – d. 1984), a music and theatre teacher of Irish and French Creole lineage. Both parents grew up in New Orleans’s shabby genteel, mixed Faubourg Marigny, one block away from each other. They were married in 1926; by the time their son was born, almost ten years later, a certain bitterness had grown between them. Thelma Toole found that her husband, a good student who had been awarded a full scholarship to Louisiana State University but had turned it down to sell cars, was an underachiever. And she despised his “vulgarian” family – “Unworthy people, hairdressers and the like . . .…

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Citation: Fachard, Alexandre. "John Kennedy Toole". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 July 2016 [, accessed 17 April 2024.]

13741 John Kennedy Toole 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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