Hunter S. Thompson

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Hunter Stockton Thompson[1] was a self-described "Gonzo" journalist whose writing was based on the notion that truth is stranger than any fiction. His work consciously blurred the line between the real and the imaginary. In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, he described his writing as "A savage journey into the heart of the American Dream."

Much of his writing in Rolling Stone magazine dealt with contemporary politics; Thompson had an active intolerance for almost all politicians across the spectrum, with the exception of Democrat George McGovern. His open hatred for Richard Nixon was especially pronounced despite the fact that he interviewed Richard Nixon and discussed football with him at length. He compiled his dispatches for Rolling Stone magazine during the 1972 campaign into the book, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. He became close friends with Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner.

Thompson once ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado on a platform that advocated the legalization of illegal drugs and wishing to keep big business out of Aspen (which he proposed to rename 'Fat City') and his home town of Woody Creek. His political movement was dubbed 'Freak Power,' as Thompson was calling on the marginalized sections of society to be his main support base. Both major parties tried to keep Thompson out of office although Thompson lost by a small margin.

Thompson was the inspiration for the character of Duke in the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip Doonesbury, and was portrayed by Johnny Depp in a film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

As expressed in the conclusion to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", Thompson's post-modern cynicism and writings heralded for many the conclusion of the Hippie subculture and, as he described, the "mind- expansion" phase of drug use, such as LSD and other hallucinatory narcotics.

Thompson, a lifelong gun enthusiast, committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2005. He is survived by his son Juan Thompson.


  1. Louis Proyect called him a "conveyor of conventional liberal thought."