Tom Wolfe (pictured), a leading figure in the New Journalism movement, and the chronicler of American society known for The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, died at the age of 88 on Monday in a Manhattan hospital where he was being treated for an infection, reports say. Expressing grief over Wolfe’s passing away, his publisher Picador described him as one of the greats whose words will live on forever. Wolfe wrote about pop culture, hippie movement, art world, LSD, race relations and the lives of astronauts in his own inimitable style. Wolfe started his career as a newspaper reporter with the New York Herald-Tribune in 1962. His first book, a collection of articles about the flamboyant sixties, was published in 1965 as The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. It became a bestseller, and established him as a leading figure in the New Journalism movement, which also included in its ranks Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Gay Talese and Ernest Hemingway. Wolfe’s 1979 bestseller, The Right Stuff, focused on US astronauts involved in space race with the then Soviet Union (now Russia). It was made into a Hollywood hit. Wolfe’s mid-1980s novel The Bonfire of the Vanities attacked the greed and excess in New York. It was made into a film starring Tom Hanks. Wolfe was born on March 2, 1930 in Richmond, Virginia. He married Sheila Berger, the artistic director of Harper’s magazine, in 1978. They had two children.
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