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New journalism pioneer Tom Wolfe dead at 88

18 May, 2018, 15:19 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Author and Richmond native Tom Wolfe dies at 87 - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Tom Wolfe, a journalist and novelist known for books like "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", died on Monday in a Manhattan hospital while battling an infection, his agency Janklow & Nesbit Associates confirmed to CBS News.

Wolfe worked as a reporter at the Springfield Union in MA and as the Latin American correspondent for the Washington Post.

Wolfe was known primarily for his reach within the field of New Journalism, a reporting style that emerged in the 1960s and '70s characterized by novelistic writing and literary storytelling techniques.

In the collection Wolfe wrote, "The most important literature being written in America today is in nonfiction".

Born in Richmond, Va., Wolfe attended Washington and Lee University and went on to get his PhD at Yale before becoming a reporter.

Image Zoom
Image Zoom

Wolfe's influence is profound on American culture and its lexicon - "the right stuff", "radical chic" and "the Me Decade" (read Wolfe on all three by clicking their respective links) being but three of Wolfe's phrases which demonstrate his exceptional linguistic acumen - it will be felt for time immemorial.

Wolfe's other big-screen adaptation, the 1990 comedy The Bonfire of the Vanities, was based on his 1987 novel about amorality and excess in 1980s New York City.

His best-selling book "The Right Stuff" which is about rocket airplane experiments after World War II and the Project Mercury astronauts, won the American Book Award for nonfiction, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Harold Vursell Award for prose style, and the Columbia Journalism Award.

He is survived by his wife, Sheila, and two children Tommy and Alexandra.

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