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Hunter S. Thompson

Writer

Born: 18 July 1937
Died: 20 February 2005 (self-inflicted gunshot)
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky
Best known as: Author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Name at birth: Hunter Stockton Thompson

Writer Hunter S. Thompson was famous for his free-wheeling, intoxicant-fueled observations on politics and society in Rolling Stone magazine and in books such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971). Thompson got his start in journalism when he was in the United States Air Force in the late 1950s. In 1966 he wrote about his relationship with a motorcycle gang in Hell's Angels and was propelled into the counter-culture limelight. With wit and salty language, Thompson created a public persona of a hard-drinking, gun-toting anti-authoritarian; he centered his reporting around his own crazy behavior and called it "gonzo journalism." In the 1970s he was particularly associated with the rock-and-roll magazine Rolling Stone; the magazine's puyblisher, Jann Wenner, called Thompson "the DNA of Rolling Stone" at Thompson's memorial service in 2005. Thompson's work appeared in many other magazines, books and, in the early 2000s, on ESPN.com. His books include Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (1972), The Great Shark Hunt (1975) and Kingdom of Fear (2002).

Extra credit: He was also known as "Dr. Gonzo" or "Dr. Hunter S. Thompson"... In the movies Thompson has been portrayed by Bill Murray in Where the Buffalo Roam (1980), and Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998, with Benicio Del Toro)... Thompson was usually seen with a long cigarette holder, a Hawaiian shirt and aviator sunglasses... The character Duke in the comic strip Doonesbury is based on Thompson... Thompson's ashes were fired from a cannon on his Colorado estate amid fireworks and tributes from friends on 21 August 2005.

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