Author Tom Wolfe Dead At 88

16 May, 2018, 08:05 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Author Tom Wolfe attends the 2012 Trophee Des Arts Gala at The Plaza Hotel on Nov. 30 2012 in New York City

Author and journalist Tom Wolfe died Monday at a Manhattan hospital, his agent Lyn Nesbit confirmed to the Los Angles Times.

Wolfe was hailed a literary icon, and his writing style and approach to reporting even saw him coin the term "new journalism".

In his use of novelistic techniques in his non-fiction, Wolfe, beginning in the 1960s, helped create the enormously influential hybrid known as New Journalism.

Wolfe came up with "radical chic" to brand pretentious liberals, the "me decade" to sum up the self-indulgence of the 1970s and the "right stuff" to quantify intangible characteristics of the first USA astronauts and their test pilot predecessors.

"I think every living moment of a human being's life, unless the person is starving or in immediate danger of death in some other way, is controlled by a concern for status", Wolfe said in a Wall Street Journal interview.

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"He was an incredible writer", fellow New Journalism pioneer Gay Talese told the Associated Press. Below, a look back at Wolfe's iconic style.

In the 1980s, Wolfe turned his attention to fiction, and his novel "The Bonfire of the Vanities" (1987) which was originally published as a serial in Rolling Stone, offered a scathing critique of the moral and financial excesses of the 1980s.

Wolfe followed with "I Am Charlotte Simmons" which recounts the tale of an ambitious girl from a family of modest means in the rural south as she navigates the social and academic world of an elite East Coast university.

A contrarian with a satirical bent, Wolfe's prose pyrotechnics and oft-startling turns-of-phrase found their way into the pop-culture lexicon and cemented Wolfe as one of the finest writers of his generation.

Wolfe was born March 2nd, 1930 in Richmond, attended St. Christopher's - an all-boys Episcopal school - and went enrolled at Washington & Lee University. He had two children.

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