Renowned author Tom Wolfe dies at 88

Tom Wolfe ‘The New Journalism’ author dead at 87

Tom Wolfe, the innovative journalist and author who wrote such best-selling masterpieces as "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Right Stuff" has passed away.

Wolfe's agent Lynn Nesbit confirmed to the Associated Press that Wolfe died of an infection in a New York City hospital.

As noted by Page Six, Wolfe had first made a name for himself as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune in the 1960s, developing a new writing style, in which writers immerse themselves in a story, that he called New Journalism.

After graduating from St. Christopher's School, an Episcopal all-boys school in Richmond, Wolfe rejected a chance to enroll at Princeton University to stay in Virginia and attend Washington and Lee University, a private liberal arts school in Lexington.

The book became a bestseller, and established Wolfe as a leading figure in the "New Journalism" movement, which also included in its ranks Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer and Truman Capote.

A scathing takedown of greed and excess in NY, it was recognized as an essential American novel of the 1980s and was made into a film starring Tom Hanks.

New Journalism mixed traditional journalism for stylized journalism, and "saturation reporting", where a reporter would shadow the subject, observes them over an extended period of time.

Between 1965 and 1981, Wolfe wrote nine nonfiction books. His first novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, arrived in 1987, skewering the excesses of the money-hungry 1980s.

He once told NPR about his method: "I looked at the whole city first".

"Once I zeroed in on these areas, I would then find the characters", he added.

An earlier Wolfe non-fiction work, The Right Stuff, exploring the early days of America's space program, fared more successfully on the big screen, winning four Oscars in 1984.

During the course of his career, Wolf wrote for the likes of Harper's Magazine and Esquire.

Wolfe is survived by Sheila Wolfe, his wife of almost 40 years; a son, Tommy Wolfe, and a daughter, Alexandra Wolfe.



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