Monday, July 18, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 18, 1939 – Hunter S. Thompson

  Image from www.deadbeats.eu


From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –

Hunter S. Thompson, journalist, son of Jack R. and Virginia (Ray) Thompson, was born on July 18, 1939, in Louisville. He began his journalistic career as a sportswriter while in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1958. From 1961 to 1963, he traveled in South America, sending back dispatches to various publications, including the National Observer. In the mid-1960s, Thompson's occasional free-lance writing assignments included a Nation piece on the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club that led to many book offers. Thompson's Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (1966) was based on conversations with members of the gang, with whom Hunter had ridden. This kind of involvement marks Thompson's own style "Gonzo journalism," in the genre of New Journalism, which combines nonfiction with the emotional impact of a novel or short story. In his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1972), Thompson's alter ego Raoul Duke goes to "the city that never sleeps" to cover both an annual motorcycle race in the desert and a national seminar on narcotics and dangerous drugs.

Thompson began writing for Rolling Stone in 1970 and covered the 1972 presidential campaign for the magazine. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (1973) "recorded the nuts and bolts of a presidential campaign with all the contempt and incredulity that other reporters feel but censor out," in the words of Anne Janette Johnson ( Contemporary Authors, 1988).

In 1963 Thompson married Sandra Dawn; they have a son, Juan. Thompson lived as a hermit in Woody Creek, Colorado. He died February 20, 2005.

BRUCE SMITH-PETERS, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Depp, J., O'Rourke, P., Steadman, R., McGovern, G., Cusack, J., Zevon, W., . . . Thames Television, ltd. (2003). Breakfast with Hunter. United States]: Wayne Ewing Films ; b Gonzo International.
AV-D3863, Young Media Library

Black, Thurman, Marksbury, Nolte, Busey, Penn, . . . FBN Motion Pictures. (2007). Buy the ticket, take the ride. Englewood, Colo.]: Distributed by Starz Home Entertainment.
AV-D6869, Young Media Library


Thompson, H., & Littmann, B. (1988). Generation of swine : Tales of shame and degradation in the '80s. New York: Summit Books.
E876 .T48 1988, Special Collections Research Center

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