Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Tom Wolfe, Author of 'The Bonfire of the Vanities', Dies at 87

Tom Wolfe, Author of 'The Bonfire of the Vanities', Dies at 87

In 2013, the NYPL acquired Wolfe's entire archive, including drafts and outlines for "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and "The Right Stuff", dozens of notebooks and countless notes detailing his development of New Journalism, and more than 10,000 letters including correspondence with Hunter S. Thompson and William F. Buckley.

In 1962 he moved to NY and began working in the NY Herald Tribune.

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

Known as a natty dresser in his signature white three-piece suits and spectator shoes, Wolfe exhibited a bon vivant, man-about-town image, even though his roots traced to a Southern middle-class upbringing.

His agent reportedly declined to comment in further detail about her client's death, however, she did refer reporters to an article in the Wall Street Journal, where she was quoted as saying: "He is not just an American icon, but he had a huge global literary reputation". As fate would have it, Wolfe graces the cover of our summer issue-in the mail as I type-wherein we have one of the last interviews that he ever gave. Tom Wolfe's fictional debut narrated story of McCoy, a young and winning bond salesman who one night loses with his mistress in South Bronx, run over a Negro and flee. He died May 14, 2018, at a New York City hospital at age 88.

"The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", zeroed in on the counterculture.

From 1965 to 1981, Wolfe produced nine nonfiction books.

Wolfe started his career as a newspaper reporter.

Wolfe critiqued art critics in The Painted Word in 1975, and the architectural decline in From Bauhaus to Our House in 1981. "He goes out and writes a best-selling novel". He rose to fame for his essays and bold arguments coupled with exhaustive reporting, peaking with the book "The Right Stuff" in 1979, which focused on the first American astronauts and the Mercury space program.

Wolfe moved to writing novels in the mid-1980s, penning "The Bonfire of the Vanities". Both books were later turned into movies. He was 87 years old.

Wolfe is survived by his wife and two children.

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