Author Tom Wolfe dies aged 88

16 May, 2018, 08:03 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Deborah Feingold  Corbis via Getty Images

Tom Wolfe, a pioneering journalist and author, died Monday in Manhattan, and while the world mourns his passing, comfort can be taken from his memorable works that span almost half a century. In 2015, Wolfe told Vanity Fair he bought his first white suit when he was working as a young reporter for The New York Herald Tribune, but realized that it was too heavy to wear in hot months.

Wolfe began his writing career as a reporter, and helped pioneer the 1960s movement called New Journalism, a form that adopted novelistic techniques for news.

New Journalism mixed traditional journalism for stylized journalism, and "saturation reporting", where a reporter would shadow the subject, observes them over an extended period of time.

He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and went to college at Washington and Lee University and received his PhD from Yale.




"The Right Stuff" was adopted into a film in 1983. From 1965 to 1981 Mr. Wolfe produced nine nonfiction books. Wolfe penned the script, while Sam Shepard, Dennis Quaid, and Ed Harris starred in the film. Since childhood, Tom Wolfe dreamed of becoming a writer. His theory of literature, which he preached in print and in person and to anyone who would listen, was that journalism and nonfiction had "wiped out the novel as American literature's main event".

Wolfe is the author of books like "The New Journalism" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities". "I'll actually sit in front of the typewriter, close my eyes, and then try to imagine myself into the particular scene that I'm going to write about".

His second novel "A Man in Full" (1998) which recounts a tale of scheming in Atlanta High Society, was also a commercial success with the reading public.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sheila, daughter Alexandra Wolfe, 37, a writer for the The Wall Street Journal and son Tommy, 32, a sculptor.

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