Journalist Tom Wolfe, author of “The Right Stuff,” dead at 87.


(CBSNews) – 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 was 87.

Wolfe had been living in New York since 1962, when he started reporting for the New York Herald Tribune. The writer pioneered New Journalism, a 1960s and 1970s literary movement characterized by colorful long-form pieces written in a subjective voice. Wolfe was associated with other New Journalism writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion and Truman Capote.

The prolific author was known for both his fiction and nonfiction works and rose to fame for his essays and bold arguments coupled with rigorous reporting, climaxing with the book “The Right Stuff” in 1979.

He published his first novel, “The Bonfire of Vanities,” in 1987. His last published book was “The Kingdom of Speech,” which challenged society’s understanding of Darwinism.

In it, he argued that speech, not evolution, is responsible for humanity’s highest achievements. He skewered the man who introduced evolution to the masses: Charles Darwin along with famed linguist Noam Chomsky.

Wolfe laughed about his trademark “feistiness” in the book to CBS News and said, “”Well, I just try to bring truth.”

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