Death: 20th February 2005
Location: Cremated, ashes fired from cannon at his former home in Woody Creek, Colorado, United States
Cause of death: Suicide – gunshot to head
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American journalist and cult author credited with the creation of gonzo journalism, a journalistic style that blurs boundaries between fiction and non-fiction and author and subject.
Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky and joined the US Air Force, where he started writing for the newspaper of the Florida base that he was stationed on.
In 1958 he was honorably discharged and moved to New York City where he started working as a copyboy for Time magazine, but he was fired for insubordination. In 1960 he relocated to Puerto Rico where he wrote freelance articles for American newspapers whilst traveling extensively and submitting short stories to publishers.
In 1965 Thompson wrote an article for The Nation based on his experiences with a gang of Hells Angels, and in 1966 the book Hell's Angels was published. It is considered that Thompson’s best work was published in Rolling Stone Magazine, where he became political correspondent. In 1998 his work was introduced to a new generation when the film Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas was released with Johnny Depp playing Thompson.
In 2003 Hunter married his assistant Anita Bejmuk. Thompson was on the phone with Anita when he ended his life. After Thompson’s suicide his family reported that it was not an act of desperation, but a well-thought out act as a result of the painful medical conditions that he endured. On 20th August 2005, according to Hunter’s wishes, his ashes were fired, along with red, white and blue fireworks, from a cannon which was on top of a 153-foot tower that Hunter had designed.