Sal Paradise

The narrator, a young writer.

Dean Moriarty

The hero, a reckless, energetic, womanizing young man from Colorado who has been in and out of jail.

Carlo Marx

A good friend of Sal and Dean's, a brooding poet who is sensual and energetic.


Dean's first wife, a pretty "dumb" blonde from Colorado.

Ed Dunkel

A tall, affable friend of Sal and Dean's. Not too bright, he'll do anything Dean says.

Galatea Dunkel

Ed Dunkel's serious, disapproving newlywed wife.

Remi Boncoeur

An old friend of Sal's from prep school. Remi, a flamboyant Frenchman, is a petty thief and gambler, constantly in debt but extravagant and sometimes gallant and generous.

Lee Ann

Remi Boncoeur's sulky girlfriend.

Sal's aunt

She is tolerant, supportive, and kind. Sal lives at her house in Paterson, New Jersey, and Long Island. Throughout Sal's wanderings, she sends him money.

Chad King

Sal's friend from Denver; young, slim, blond and soft-spoken. He is interested in philosophy, anthropology, and pre-historic Indians.

Tim Gray

A friend of Sal's in Denver.

Roland Major

A friend with whom Sal lives briefly in Denver. Major is a Hemingway-esque writer who is scornful of "arty" types but snobby himself, often talking to Sal about Europe and fine wines.


Dean's second wife, for whom he divorces Marylou. Loyal Camille lives in San Francisco with her and Dean's children.

The Rawlinses

Ray and Babe, brother and sister, Denver friends of Sal's group. Babe, "an enterprising blonde," is Tim Gray's girlfriend.

Rita Bettencourt

A waitress in Denver whom Dean sets up with Sal. According to Dean, she has a "sex problem." Sal tries to prove to her that sex is beautiful, but he fails to impress her.

Old Bull Lee

"Long, lean, strange and laconic," a long-time friend of Sal and Carlo, the teacher of their group. A traveler, writer, and junkie.

Elmer Hassel

A lost friend whom Sal and Dean seek everywhere they go.

Jane Lee

Bull Lee's sarcastic wife, a benzedrine junkie.


A married woman in New York whom Sal wants to marry for awhile.

Denver D. Doll

A Central City friend, whom Sal sees all over town. Eager Denver D. Doll shakes hands and makes sometimes-incoherent pleasantries ("Good afternoon" at midnight, "Happy New Year," etc.)--from morning to night, a caricature of an official.


A pretty Mexican girl with whom Sal spends fifteen days in California. She comes from a family of grape-pickers in Sabinal, has a son, and is trying to escape a husband who beat her.


Terry's wild, drunk, happy-go-lucky brother whom Sal meets in Sabinal.


Terry and Rickey's friend, a manure-seller who smells like it. Big and eager to please, Ponzo is in love with Terry.


Terry's seven-year-old son.


Sal's friend in Tucson, Arizona; a shy writer who lives with his wife, baby, and mother.

Slim Gaillard

A friend of Dean's in San Francisco, Slim goes to jazz joints and adds the suffix "orooni" to everything he says.

Roy Johnson

A friend of Sal's who chauffeurs Dean and Sal in San Francisco..


Dean's third wife, a sexy brunette he meets in New York.

Stan Shephard

An enthusiastic friend of Tim Gray's who goes to Mexico with Dean and Sal. Stan has a controlling grandfather he is trying to escape.


The kind, polite Mexican man; Sal, Dean, and Stan's guide in Gregoria.

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