Author and Richmond native Tom Wolfe dies at 87

Posted May 18, 2018

Wolfe who pioneered "new journalism" passed away in Manhattan on Monday, his agent confirmed the news to the New York Times on Tuesday.

Wolfe began his writing career as a newspaper reporter, first for the Washington Post and then for the New York Herald Tribune.

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In 2013, the NYPL acquired Wolfe's entire archive, including drafts and outlines for "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and "The Right Stuff", dozens of notebooks and countless notes detailing his development of New Journalism, and more than 10,000 letters including correspondence with Hunter S. Thompson and William F. Buckley. These titles put him in a class with other great writers whose titles also became films like Truman Capote (1967's In Cold Blood) and Norman Mailer (1958's The Naked and the Dead).

Later, Wolfe published his first novel, "The Bonfire of the Vanities", in 1987, which was adapted into a film by Brian De Palma in 1990. His last published book was 2016's "The Kingdom of Speech", which challenged society's understanding of Darwinism.

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Wolfe was well known for being a stylish dresser, often photographed in his trademark white suit.

"To be honest, I have only five more planned. And one ... coming up is on political correctness, which I think is the funniest subject in a long - in a long, long time", Wolfe said.

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Wolfe was a writer whose gifts extended into every permutation of the written form: he was adept at mixing genres and techniques with traditional journalism, bulldozing over staid ideas about objectivity to influence a generation of writers.