- SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch)
-- Hunter S. Thompson, author of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
and "Hell's Angels," and an inspirational figure for writers
and political activists, fatally shot himself Sunday night at his home
near Aspen, Colo., according to media reports. He was 67.
- "Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends
and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family,"
Juan Thompson, the author's son, said in a statement released to the Aspen
- The Associated Press reported that Pitkin County Sheriff
Bob Braudis, a personal friend of Thompson, confirmed the death to the
News. Juan Thompson found his father's body. Thompson's wife, Anita, was
not home at the time, the AP said. It was not known late Sunday if the
shooting was intentional.
- In addition to the 1972 classic "Fear and Loathing
in Las Vegas," he is credited with pioneering "gonzo journalism,"
a type of subjective reporting filled with the author's opinions and an
exaggerated rhetorical style.
- "Hunter was the most amazing writer I ever edited,"
said Larry Kramer, former Chairman and CEO of MarketWatch, now an executive
for Dow Jones. "He was a true genius ... and a cult hero for a generation
of writers, journalists and political activists."
- Kramer recalled how, as executive editor at the San Francisco
Examiner during the 1980s, he and Thompson, then a weekly columnist for
the paper, would have "hour-long debates over the phone about a sentence
or a paragraph ... mostly because he'd be constantly pushing to see if
he was saying exactly what he wanted to say. We would fight him for every
paragraph, hours after deadline, but when he would finally file, it was
better than perfect."
- Kramer said Thompson "had a better sense of politics
and campaigns than anyone I've worked with. He could handicap 50 congressional
races and be right on 49."
- Kramer also said he remembered, vividly, several incidents
working with Thompson.
- "One time we got a call from a San Francisco hotel
shortly after he had stayed there on a visit to see us," Kramer said.
"They wanted us to pay $2,400 for his three nights. When we pressed
for a detailed bill, there was a $2,000 item called 'miscellaneous damage'
... something to do with an ice machine that had been shot through with
- The second, Kramer said, "involved a call from a
hospital where he had been taken for an emergency appendectomy. They told
us they couldn't perform the operation until they had spent a couple days
giving him a full blood wash ... apparently his bloodstream was polluted
with alcohol and several interesting drugs ... and they were afraid of
- Thompson's other books include "Fear and Loathing
on the Campaign Trail" and "The Proud Highway." His most
recent effort was "Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and The
Downward Spiral of Dumbness."
- Alfred Lehmberg
- Byronically mondo "Gonzo", some will too quickly
call him crazy. But, pushing 60, and as much as a reader can, I grew up
with Hunter S. Thompson. I found him to be more consistently right than
wrong in places that count... more places than a reflexive detractor ~can~
admit, contest, or argue. Those 'detractors' can push their scurvy sock
in it as a result.
- Moreover, irony may ~yet~ come to be discovered, Sir
and Madam! It might yet be found that Thompson's life was actually a portrait
of a ~sane~ man... a sane man reacting to a ~culture~ going, increasingly,
more insane. That's an irony you'll be able to roll up and smoke, later,
- ...Truly, he leaves far behind what the rest see far
before them. A giant fallen. Scramble up on his shoulders now, folks,
avoid the coming rush.
- Read on.
- firstname.lastname@example.org -:|:-