S. Thompsonauthor

Hunter S. Thompson


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Hunter S. Thompson showed a knack for writing at a young age, and after high school began his career in journalism while serving in the United States Air Force. Following his military service, Thompson traveled the country to cover a wide array of topics for numerous magazines and developed an immersive, highly personal style of reporting that would become known as “Gonzo Journalism.” 

He would employ the style in the 1972 book for which he is best known, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was an instant and lasting success. For the remainder of his life, Thompson’s hard-driving lifestyle — which included the steady use of illicit drugs and an ongoing love affair with firearms — and his relentlessly antiauthoritarian work made him a perpetual counterculture icon. 

However, his fondness for substances also contributed to several bouts of poor health, and in 2005 Thompson committed suicide at the age of 67. 

With the proceeds from Hell’s Angels, in 1967, Thompson bought a compound on the outskirts of Aspen, Colorado — which he named Owl Creek — and moved there with his wife, Sandy Conklin, whom he had married in 1963, and their son, Juan, who was born in 1964. 

But despite these seemingly domestic trappings, Thompson was anything but settled down. He constantly traveled on assignments for a wide array of magazines, covering topics such as the hippie movement, the Vietnam War, and the 1968 presidential campaigns, all in his now characteristically irreverent style.

Among the best known and important of these pieces was “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved," a rambling, willingly subjective account of the Derby that was more the experience of watching it than it was about the race itself. Published in the June 1970 edition of Scanlan’s Monthly, and with illustrations by British artist Ralph Steadman, it was hailed as a breakthrough in journalism and is considered the first-ever example of what is now known as “Gonzo Journalism.”

Best author’s book


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas