William Seward Burroughs was born on February 5, 1914, in Saint Louis, Missouri, United States to a prosperous and notable family of Mortimer Perry Burroughs, a businessman, and Laura Hammon Lee, claimed to be a descendant of Civil War General Robert E. Lee. Mortimer Perry was passionate about landscape gardening, but in order to support the family, he had to open a gift and art shop titled Cobblestone Gardens. William had an elder brother who worked as an architect.
William Seward Burroughs was named after his famous grandfather, the inventor and the founder of the Burroughs Adding Machine company, William Seward Burroughs I. Among William’s famous relatives was also his maternal uncle, Ivy Lee, who worked as a publicist for the Rockefellers.
William Seward Burroughs II revealed his passion for magic and occult things early at his childhood. As to the writing, his first essays and journals appeared in adolescence.