Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities author, dies aged 87

Lucy Bush
May 16, 2018

He edited the influential collection The New Journalism, which included essays by Joan Didion, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and others. The novel featured Wolfe himself as a subjective participant and is celebrated as one of the seminal examples of what came to be known as New Journalism.

Wolfe was also famous for his dapper "Southern gentleman" look, often appearing in public in a pristine white suit, white homburg hat, and two-tone shoes.

Wolfe's daughter, Alexandra Wolfe, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, recalled that her father - who coined the terms "the me decade", "radical chic" and "trophy wife" - never took a vacation and was always writing. As fate would have it, Wolfe graces the cover of our summer issue-in the mail as I type-wherein we have one of the last interviews that he ever gave. He died May 14, 2018, at a New York City hospital at age 88.

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Wolfe started his career as a newspaper reporter.

From 1965 to 1981, Wolfe produced nine nonfiction books.

Wolfe revealed in a 2016 interview with The Telegraph of London that he wrote the vivid account of tripping on acid without ever dropping a tab. John Irving angrily denounced Wolfe by saying, "I can't read him because he's such a bad writer".

And when he ventured into fiction, starting with "The Bonfire of the Vanities", he still reported - painting page upon page of untold truths of '80s NY, from Wall Street to Park Avenue to The Bronx.

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Wolfe was born March 2, 1931 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia, the son of an agronomist father and an arts-oriented mother.

Wolfe lived in NY with his wife, Sheila.

30 years later, a prototypical character of bonfire like Trump, has become president of United States and Bronx, that old jungle, is recommended in a guide of Times.

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