Louis Armstrong: Genius and Drugs
"Satchmo" Armstrong smoked three cigar-sized blunts daily throughout his life
Louis Armstrong's life is too amazing to take it all in in one gulp - as many of his contemporary political, jazz, and entertainment figures were unable to do. But he does make us think hard about marijuana addiction.
Armstrong was born in August, 1901 and grew up in New Orleans' red-light district - prostitution was essentially legal, and his mother probably prostituted (his father abandoned the family, and Armstrong was raised by his grandmother during his early childhood).
Armstrong developed an unusual relationship with his mother - treating her more like an older sister. But they were devoted to one another. In his remarkable biography of Armstrong, Laurence Bergreen describes Armstrong's mother taking him - when Armstrong was 16 or 17 - to teach him to drink "like a man." They got stinking drunk in New Orleans speakeasies.