Tom Wolfe, Pioneer Of Literary Style "New Journalism", Dies At 88

  • Tom Wolfe, Pioneer Of Literary Style

Tom Wolfe, Pioneer Of Literary Style "New Journalism", Dies At 88

Tom Wolfe, a journalist and novelist known for books like "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", died on Monday in a Manhattan hospital while battling an infection, his agency Janklow & Nesbit Associates confirmed to CBS News.

He is not just an American icon, but he had a huge worldwide literary reputation.

The book became a bestseller and established Wolfe as a leading figure in the "New Journalism" movement, which also included in its ranks Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer and Truman Capote. He advocated 'saturation reporting', which involved following one's subject for long stretches of time before embarking on writing portraits of them, and which enabled one to witness them during vulnerable moments.

Born in 1931 in Virginia, Wolfe worked as a journalist before finding fame for his satirical fiction. He later left for Washington, then New York, arriving there in 1962 to work for The New York Herald Tribune. His first novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, arrived in 1987, skewering the excesses of the money-hungry 1980s.

He was known for coining phrases such as "radical chic" - a derogatory term for pretentious liberals - and "the me decade", which described the self-indulgence of the 1970s.