Iconic American author and journalist dies aged 87 after being hospitalized
One of the greatest American literary geniuses of all time has passed away at the age of 87
Tom Wolfe was born in 1931 in Virginia, and soon after graduating from university he started working as a reporter for the Springfield Union in Massachusetts, a prestigious newspaper which later became known as The Republican.
In 1962, the young, ambitious Wolfe moved to New York and signed on with The New York Herald Tribune. New York was to become his home, and Wolfe would never leave it again. On the 14th of May 2018, he passed away in a Manhattan hospital, after becoming ill with an infection.
Throughout his career, Wolfe would reinvent the essay, and revolutionize journalism. He broke the accepted rules of journalism by inserting himself into his non-fiction writing and invented what he called 'saturation reporting', creating an overwhelming flood of information and sensation that plunged his readers into the story, reported The Guardian on the 15th of May 2018.
Wolfe published several bestselling books including The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Bonfire of the Vanities. Wolfer wrote the often bizarre stories of people who pursued money, status, power, and success to the exclusion of all else.
His sharp acerbic wit laid bare the pretensions of the rich and powerful with they fragile morality and voracious hunger for pleasure and status. Wolfe added new terms to the English language such as “ statusphere ”, “radical chic” and “the Me Decade”.
Wolfe was famous for his elegant garb, especially his beautifully tailored white three-piece suits, which he wore in invocation of his 'Southern Gentleman' persona.
His suave manners, his cynical personality, his charm, and sarcasm made him a celebrity; his unquestionable literary talent made him a giant ranked alongside Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Hunter S Thompson.
Wolfe's sharp critical eye and acerbic tongue made him a popular member of the rarified circle of New York intellectuals, and his battles of wits with the likes of John Updike, and Norman Mailer were legendary.
Having just spent a week re-reading his account of Ken Kesey's Prankster craziness, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, it's a shock to hear today of Tom Wolfe's death, at age 87. This image (by Annie Leibovitz) of Kurt Vonnegut and him, sitting on high, seems appropriate #RIP pic.twitter.com/mxznLWqq1x— c.c. o'hanlon (@ccohanlon) May 15, 2018
Wolfe is survived by his wife, Sheila, and their two children; and mourned by friends and admirers thought out America and the world.