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A counterculture icon, Hunter S. Thompson was an American journalist best known for writing 1971's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and creating "Gonzo journalism."
A short biography of Hunter S. Thompson who is considered one of the Great American Writers and the originator of “gonzo journalism.”
The full biography of Hunter S. Thompson.
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He was national affairs editor of the magazine until 1999.
In 1971, what began as an assignment for Sports Illustrated turned into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, a best-selling book based on Thompson's drug-fueled journey through Las Vegas. "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold," reads the first line of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Both a critical and commercial success, the book was adapted into a film in 1998, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Benicio del Toro and Johnny Depp, a big Thompson fan. (Depp later starred in the 2011 film version of The Rum Diary.) Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, a collection of Thompson's writings for Rolling Stone about the 1972 presidential campaign, was published in early 1973.
Thompson was notorious for his outrageous antics, rebellious, anti-authoritarian attitude, and unconventional reporting style. Sent to Zaire in 1974 to cover the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" fight between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, Thompson skipped the boxing and instead spent the time floating in the hotel pool, into which he had tossed a pound and a half of marijuana.
A counterculture icon, Thompson served as the model for the gun-toting, drug-ingesting Uncle Duke character in Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury comic strip.
After several bouts of poor health, Thompson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on February 20, 2005, at his compound in Woody Creek, Colorado, near Aspen. In August 2005, in a private ceremony commemorating his life, Thompson's ashes were shot from a cannon to the tune of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man."
Thompson married Sandy Conklin in 1963 and they had one son, Juan, the following year. Although their longtime marriage ended in divorce in 1980, they remained friends until Thompson's death in 2005.
In 2003, Thompson married his longtime assistant, Anita Beymunk.
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