Tom Wolfe, the father of New Journalism, dies aged 88

Tom Wolfe

Author and Richmond native Tom Wolfe dies at 87 - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Tom Wolfe, an innovative journalist whose technicolour, wildly punctuated prose brought to life the worlds of California surfers, auto customisers, astronauts and Manhattans moneyed status-seekers in works such as The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, The Right Stuff and Bonfire Of The Vanities, has died.

The New York Times reported that he had been in the hospital after suffering from an infection. No further details were available. Wolfe himself coined the term in 1973 when he published a book of articles called The New Journalism, featuring the likes of Truman Capote, Joan Didion and Gay Talese, who penned the famous literary-style profile "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold".

While the stories have no connecting theme, this is the first book that gave early examples of New Journalism.

Wolfe worked at The Washington Post and the New York Herald Tribune, where he developed "New Journalism", a style marked by interior monologues and eccentric language. Starring Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith, it was a commercial and critical flop.

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In a career spanning more than half a century, Wolfe wrote fiction and non-fiction bestsellers, starting with The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965). He first came to wide notice with the 1968 novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, an account of counterculture icon Ken Kesey and friends, aka the Merry Pranksters, traveling the country in their painted bus and the adventures they experienced.

Wolfe, known for his signature white suit, was easily recognizable when taking walks in his neighborhood.

Wolfe is survived by his wife, Sheila, and two children, Alexandra and Tommy.

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