ASPEN, Colo. (AP) – Hunter S. Thompson, the hard-living writer who inserted himself into his accounts of America’s underbelly and popularized a first-person form of journalism in books such as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” has committed suicide.
Thompson was found dead Sunday in his Aspen-area home of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, sheriff’s officials said. He was 67. Thompson’s wife, Anita, had gone out before the shooting and was not home at the time.
Besides the 1972 classic about Thompson’s visit to Las Vegas, he also wrote “Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72.” The central character in those wild, sprawling satires was “Dr. Thompson,” a snarling, drug- and alcohol-crazed observer and participant.
Thompson is credited alongside Tom Wolfe and Gay Talese with helping pioneer New Journalism — or, as he dubbed it, “gonzo journalism” — in which the writer made himself an essential component of the story.
Thompson also wrote such collections as “Generation of Swine” and “Songs of the Doomed.” His first ever novel, “The Rum Diary,” written in 1959, was first published in 1998.
He was a counterculture icon at the height of the Watergate era, and once said Richard Nixon represented “that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character.”
Other books include “The Great Shark Hunt,” “Hell’s Angels” and “The Proud Highway.” His most recent effort was “Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness.”
He also is survived by his son, Juan Thompson.