Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Tom Wolfe, pioneering 'New Journalist,' dead at 87

Tom Wolfe, pioneering 'New Journalist,' dead at 87

Tom Wolfe, an innovative journalist and satirist of American culture, has died at age 87, his agent confirmed.

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

Wolfe started his career as a newspaper reporter with the New York Herald-Tribune in 1962.

"To pull it off, you casually have to stay with the people you are writing about for long stretches. long enough so that you are actually there when revealing scenes take place in their lives."

Other notable works from Wolfe include 1968's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test-detailing Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' journey across America-and 1979's The Right Stuff, about the first astronauts. His first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, arrived in 1965, collecting his early non-fiction essays.

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Tom Wolfe was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1930.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe.

"His work changed my life and convinced me to write nonfiction", bestselling writer Susan Orlean wrote of Wolfe in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

The list went on with "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers", in 1970, a highly controversial book about racial friction in the United States. The book was later turned into a blockbuster movie starring Ed Harris as John Glenn and Sam Shepard as record-setting test-pilot Chuck Yeager.

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.

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