Louis Simpson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who captured in simple verses the complexity of 20th-century American life, including the beauty and the emptiness he sometimes found in middle-class suburbia, died Friday at his home in Stony Brook, N.Y. He was 89.
His death, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, was confirmed by his son Matthew Simpson.
Born in Jamaica to a Scottish father and a Russian mother, Simpson became a U.S. citizen while serving in the Army during World War II. In the postwar boom of the 1950s, through the social upheaval of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and in every decade since, Simpson lived, observed and wrote with the clarifying detachment of an outsider.
He received the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for his collection “At the End of the Open Road.” The volume was one of more than 18 books of poetry he produced over six decades