Tom Wolfe, Novelist & New Journalism Trailblazer, Is Dead At 88

Tom Wolfe at a literary event in Frankfurt in 1988

Tom Wolfe at a literary event in Frankfurt in 1988

Wolfe's agent Lynn Nesbit confirmed to the Associated Press that Wolfe died of an infection in a New York City hospital.

The New York Post reports that Wolfe, who began working as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune in 1962, was known for being one of the first journalists to apply literary techniques to their work, a style that was coined New Journalism. The writer pioneered New Journalism, a 1960s and 1970s literary movement characterized by colorful longform pieces written in a subjective voice.

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Wolfe covered a range of topics in his prose, from Ken Kesey and the Beat Generation in the 1968 nonfiction book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" to Cuban immigrants in Miami in 2012 novel "Back to Blood". In 1987, Wolfe published "The Bonfire of the Vanities", a novel that also later became a film. He laughed about his trademark "feistiness" in the book to CBS News and said, "Well, I just try to bring truth".

Wolfe became a major figure in the NY social scene, identified with his distinct personal style - typified by a white, 3-piece suit.

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In 2016, he told London's Telegraph: "I think young people today probably look back on that period in the sixties in much the same way as I look back on the 1890s, but it was a very wild time". It was made into a film in 1983 that lost money at the box office - perhaps due to its more than three-hour run time - but was a critical and Oscar-winning hit that was included in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry five years ago.

Author and journalist Tom Wolfe has died, aged 88.

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