Jackson Pollock (1912-1956):
On the night of August 11, 1956, painter Jackson Pollock, driving drunk, died in a car crash near his home in Springs on Long Island. Two women, Edith Metzger and Pollock's mistress Ruth Klingman, were in the front seat. Metzger died. Klingman survived. Pollock's wife, painter Lee Krasner, was in Paris at the time of the accident. Pollock's technique of pouring and dripping paint made him the most famous and most controversial painter of his time. Like actor James Dean, who died a year earlier in a car crash, Pollock's tragic death at age 44 solidified his image as a legendary rebel.