Pioneering journalist Tom Wolfe has died at the age of 88

Published May 15, 2018


Tom Wolfe, legendary fiction and nonfiction author who wrote era-defining books Bonfire of the Vanities and Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, has died at the age of 88. The New York Times reported that he had been in the hospital after suffering from an infection.

In addition to his novels and nonfiction books, Wolfe pioneered the “New Journalism” style, which combined reporting with creative literary techniques. He edited the influential collection The New Journalism, which included essays by Joan Didion, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and others. Throughout his work, Wolfe’s marvelous facility with language created several new phrases, including “radical chic” and “the Me decade.”

Wolfe was also a style icon, known for wearing a crisp white suit everywhere he went. In a statement given to the Wall Street Journal, Wolfe’s agent Lynn Nesbit said, “He is not just an American icon, but he had a huge international literary reputation. All the same, he was one of the most modest and kindest people I have ever met.”