Tom Wolfe Dead - Famed Author Passes Away at 87

Brenda Watkins
May 16, 2018

Tom Wolfe has died at the age of 87.

Wolfe's agent Lynn Nesbit told several media the author died Monday in a Manhattan hospital, where he was being treated for an infection.

Born in Virginia in 1931, Wolfe went straight into reportage out of university, beginning at the Springfield Union in MA.

He then moved onto his first work of fiction, "The Bonfire of the Vanities" a seminal tale of 1980s NY involving a Wall Street banker, a Bronx high school student, and a tabloid reporter. At the Tribune, Wolfe developed his voice as a writer, a colorful, inventive style he honed at Esquire, where he began writing in 1963.

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Wolfe applied this approach in classic works like The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test where he observed Ken Kesey and his LSD-imbibing Merry Pranksters in the early days of the psychedelic era, and The Right Stuff, a chronicle of the early days of the USA space program. Wolfe was associated with other New Journalism writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion and Truman Capote.

He published his first novel, "The Bonfire of Vanities", in 1987. The widely influential collection helped codify the genre.

He was known for his biting satire aimed at American culture and his ability for noticing trends and naming them, such as "the Me decade" and "radical chic".

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