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

16 May, 2018, 15:09 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Author Tom Wolfe attends the 2012 Trophee Des Arts Gala at The Plaza Hotel on Nov. 30 2012 in New York City

Known for ingenious phrase-making and white suits, he chronicled United States culture across five decades through books such as The Bonfire Of The Vanities, The Right Stuff and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

The legendary author, a genius of creative nonfiction storytelling, passed away after he was hospitalized with an infection, as disclosed by his longtime literary agent, Lynn Nesbit.

Wolfe's other big-screen adaptation, the 1990 comedy The Bonfire of the Vanities, was based on his 1987 novel about amorality and excess in 1980s New York City.

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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.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that Wolfe's "wry wit and sharp observations defined an era of life in New York". I had the same lack of education, and in 1984 I presumed to become Time's architecture and design critic.

When I arrived at my next editor in chief job, at NY magazine, my fundamentalist vision was to make it as much as possible like the NY to which Mr. Wolfe (and Ms. Ephron) had been a founding contributor 20 years earlier.

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His contributions to American literature were varied and very influential in the '60s and '70s when he wrote "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", "Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers", "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby". He'd worked in traditional journalism through the 1950s; the custom-car subculture brought him to the crisis moment necessary to innovation.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1930, Wolfe attended Washington and Lee for undergraduate and Yale for his Ph.D. before moving to New York in the 1960s, the New York Post reported. Wolfe is survived by his wife, Sheila, and two children, Alexandra and Tommy.

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