Truman Capote’s Ashes to Be Auctioned

truman capote
Photo: New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer: Higgins, Roger, photographer. Library of Congress Donation (Wikimedia Commons)

Beverly Hills auction house Julien’s has announced that it will be selling the ashes of Truman Capote. You read that correctly.

The late In Cold Blood author, who had a home in Sagaponack, died in 1984 of liver cancer. He was 59 years old. His ashes were previously held by the late Joanne Carson (second wife of Johnny Carson), who died in May, 2015. Carson and Capote were best friends, and Capote passed away in Carson’s writing room in her home.

The executor of Carson’s estate reportedly didn’t know what to do with the ashes, which were kept in a sealed 3 x 4 x 4-inch cardboard box with a Grand View Memorial Park Crematory label, and then placed in a Japanese carved wooden box, which is how they ended up for auction. The ashes are expected to bring in between $4,000 and $6,000, though they already had online pre-bids up to $2,250 on Friday, August 19.

Truman Capote's ashes
Truman Capote’s ashes, Photo: Courtesy Julien’s Auctions

Darren Julien, the CEO of Julien’s Auctions, told Vanity Fair, “I am sure people are going to think this is disrespectful…But this is a fact: Truman Capote loved the element of shock. He loved publicity. And I’m sure he’s looking down laughing, and saying, ‘That’s something I would have done.’ He was a larger-than-life character.”

Julien’s is no stranger to peculiar items being auctioned off—they sold William Shatner’s kidney stone for $75,000!

Still, it all feels a bit cold-blooded, don’t you think?

The auction will be held on September 23 and 24.

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