The Life and Achievements of Hunter Thompson, the Author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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The Gonzo journalism style, a journalism style that sees the journalist go against the common expectations of objectivity and write himself as a part of the story. The style was popularized by the famous journalist, Hunter S Thompson, who, other than creating the movement, was also known for writing a number of novels, some of which have been adapted onto the big screen.

The name Hunter S Thompson evokes the memories of a man who was not afraid to live, who spent his life leaving a lasting legacy that has defined generations. He is known for publishing several popular articles for a number of publications, ranging from Rolling Stone to The New York Times. In this article, we explore everything you need to know about Hunter S Thompson below. Read on to learn more.

Hunter S Thompson Biography

Born on the 18th of July, 1937 as Hunter Stockton Thompson, he was the first of three boys born to parents Jack Robert Thompson and Virginia Ray Davison in Louisville, Kentucky. He lost his father to myasthenia gravis when he was 14 years of age and was raised by his mother until he became an adult. As a child growing up, Hunter S Thompson showed a knack for writing and was also a big fan of sports. While he pursued his love for writing, he never pursued his passion for sports other than being a spectator.

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For his education, he attended Atherton High School and Louisville Male High School, graduating from the latter. Following the completion of his high school years, he joined the US Air Force and completed his service in November 1957. He began his career as a journalist after, working as a sports editor for The Command Courier. Over the course of his career as a journalist, he worked for other media outlets like The Middletown Daily Record. He wrote his first novel, Hell’s Angels while he worked for The Nation. Other than a career as a journalist and an author, Hunter S Thompson also ran for political office, as Sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado. He ran a wild campaign that saw him lost narrowly to a consolidated union of Democrats and Republicans in the county. He was also a photographer, albeit an amateur one and some of his works have been featured in art galleries. He has also had some of his pictures published in a book, Gonzo: Photographs by Hunter S. Thompson.

While he was alive, Hunter S Thompson received a number of accolades and recognition, such as being named Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky and being named the greatest comic writer of the 20th century by Tom Wolfe. Other recognition of his influence and legacy came during his funeral which had important personalities such as Senator John Kerry, Charlie Rose, Sean Penn and many others in attendance.

Books and Movies

Hunter S Thompson was a prolific writer when he was alive and he was able to write a total of sixteen books over the course of his lifetime. His published books include major titles like The Rum Diary, Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Curse of Lono and a few more. As for movies, a number of his works have been adapted to screen, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diary, where he was played by Johnny Depp, who is also a great friend of his. Others include Where the Buffalo Roam, where he was played by Bill Murray. As an actor, Hunter S Thompson himself appeared in The Crazy Never Die and the show, Nash Bridges.

How and When Did He Die?

Hunter S Thompson, during his life, was a big advocate for gun rights and the fourth amendment as a whole and so, it came as no surprise that the weapon he loved the most, ended up taking his life. On the 20th of February, 2005, at the age of 67, he died from a gunshot wound to the head, effectively committing suicide in his home, Owl Farm at Woody Creek, Colorado. Before he died, Hunter S Thompson left a suicide note for his wife and he was survived by a wife, Anita Bejmuk and a lone child, his son, Juan. He was buried after a private funeral on the 20th of August, with his body cremated and his ashes fired out of a cannon. His funeral, which included other extravagant and eccentric features true to his persona, cost $3 million.

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The Life and Achievements of Hunter Thompson, the Author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. (2021, January 12). WritingBros. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from
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