Tom Wolfe, Best-Selling Author and Innovative Journalist, Dies at 88

ImageTom Wolfe in 1988. He was known for his verbal pyrotechnics in books like “The Right Stuff.”CreditÁngel Franco  The New York Times

Famous since 1960s for his impeccable three-piece suits and starched white collar shirts, Wolfe had countless anecdotes of some of his famous stories, such as portrait of Cassius Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali. "All the same, he was one of the most modest and kindest people I have ever met".

In this way, Wolfe was a pioneer of storytelling and creative nonfiction whose influence is still felt today. He moved to New York in 1962 to join the New York Herald-Tribune and remained in the city for the rest of his life.

Born and Raised in Richmond, Virginia, to an agronomist father and a mother who was a landscape architect, Wolfe traced his love for literature to the books his parents kept on their bookshelves.

Wolfe started his career as a newspaper reporter. He later wrote books, including The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, The Pump House Gang, and The Right Stuff, among many others. "He goes out and writes a best-selling novel".


"My contention is that status is on everybody's mind all of the time, whether they're conscious of it or not, " Wolfe, who lived in a 12-room apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, told the AP in 2012.

In his space-race classic The Right Stuff - the American Book Award victor - he combined the emotional impact of a novel with the factual foundation of hard reporting.

How Money Got Free author Brian Patrick Eha called Wolfe "a true original", New York Times best-seller Brad Thor praised him as a "magnificent author", and The New Yorker's Susan Orlean recalled how "dazzled" she was by The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. From re, he begins his free fall and, in parallel to it, Wolfe portrays entire underworld of city. It's part of what made his books catnip for Hollywood producers; four of them, including The Last American Hero, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and Almost Heroes, were turned into major films. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, and their two children, Alexandra Wolfe and Tommy Wolfe. He was 88 years old.

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