Tom Wolfe, the innovative writer who chronicled the early days of the USA space program, American surf culture and the rise of 1960s counterculture before becoming a novelist with his classic Bonfire Of The Vanities, died Monday night. According to his agent, Wolfe died in Manhattan on Monday, May 14 after being hospitalized for an infection.
Wolfe edited a volume of work by himself and other prominent writers of the era, including Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, titled "The New Journalism". "All the same, he was one of the most modest and kindest people I have ever met".
Tom Wolfe was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1930.
Before moving to NY in the 60s, Wolfe worked as a reporter at the Springfield Union in MA and as the Latin American correspondent for The Washington Post.
His first book, a collection of articles about the flamboyant Sixties, was published in 1965 as "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby".
While the stories have no connecting theme, this is the first book that gave early examples of New Journalism.
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe.
Wolfe's 1979 bestseller "The Right Stuff" focused on the USA astronauts involved in the space race with the Soviet Union.
Over the next decade, he would publish "Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catcher", "The Painted Word" and "The New Journalism". 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.
The Bonfire of The Vanities by Tom Wolfe.
He wrote countless best-selling novels including "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Right Stuff".
Wolfe is survived by Sheila Wolfe, his wife of almost 40 years; a son, Tommy Wolfe, and a daughter, Alexandra Wolfe.