Pioneering journalist Tom Wolfe has died at the age of 88


He had lived in New York since 1962, when he joined The New York Herald Tribune as a reporter.

Wolfe, whose other titles include the essay collection "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby" and the 1987 satirical novel "The Bonfire of the Vanities", gave rise to "New Journalism", a style of non-fiction that placed truth before fact and embraced a subjective perspective. "The Right Stuff" was a big hit and went on to became a fan favorite to this day.

"The Right Stuff" was adopted into a film in 1983. He told CBS News that when he was starting out in his career, he was interested in fiction, but quickly found himself captivated by nonfiction.

David Corio  Getty Images
David Corio Getty Images

In it, he argued that speech, not evolution, is responsible for humanity's highest achievements. "They called my brilliant manuscript "journalistic" and 'reactionary, ' which means I must go through with a blue pencil and strike out all the laughs and anti-Red passages and slip in a little liberal merde, so to speak, just to sweeten it".

In addition to his writings, Wolfe was also known for his foppish style and signature white suit, though in older age he swapped out tall collars for polo shirts. The icon told CBS News in 2016 he had five more books planned. "I never exchanged a cross word with him in our many years of working together".

Wolfe was a writer whose gifts extended into every permutation of the written form: he was adept at mixing genres and techniques with traditional journalism, bulldozing over staid ideas about objectivity to influence a generation of writers.

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