Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Legendary Author Tom Wolfe Dead At 87

Legendary Author Tom Wolfe Dead At 87

With a remarkable ear, an acid pen, and unfailing insight into his subjects, Tom Wolfe created a almost peerless body of work and positioned himself as one of the finest and most influential writers of his time.

The Right Stuff, about the first U.S. astronauts, was adapted into a film in 1983 with Sam Shepard, Dennis Quaid and Ed Harris.

He was never deterred by the fact that he often did not fit in with his research subjects, partly because he was such a sartorial dandy, known for his white suits. Although his articles and books placed him at the very...

Wolfe was known as one of the principal practitioners of New Journalism, which employed novelistic techniques in telling a story.

Wolfe is the author of books like "The New Journalism" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities".

One of the genre's defining moments came when Wolfe was having trouble meeting a deadline for a 1964 magazine story on the hot-rod vehicle culture. Below, a look back at Wolfe's iconic style.

Wolfe revealed in a 2016 interview with The Telegraph of London that he wrote the vivid account of tripping on acid without ever dropping a tab.

The author and journalist will be remembered as a pioneer of New Journalism, a style of news writing developed in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1979, he published his bestseller "The Right Stuff" about Project Mercury astronauts in the NASA space program and the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Wolfe's first fiction novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, was published in 1987.

PEN America's community of writers, journalists, and readers joins together to mourn the passing of an icon and to send our deepest condolences to Shelia, Alexandra, and Tommy Wolfe. All the same, he was one of the most modest and kindest people I have ever met.

Sadly, New Journalism was thrown into literature's dumpster by an age of attention deficit and 140 character blasts. John Irving angrily denounced Wolfe by saying, "I can't read him because he's such a bad writer". He graduated Washington and Lee University, after he'd turned down Princeton University.

Author Tom Wolfe attends the 2012 Trophee Des Arts Gala at The Plaza Hotel on November 30, 2012 in New York City.

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