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Tom Wolfe, author of 'The Right Stuff' dies at 88

AFP  |  New York 

Tom Wolfe, the acerbic chronicler of American society known for "The Right Stuff" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities," has died at the age of 88.

Wolfe's agent told the died Monday in a Manhattan hospital, where he was being treated for an infection.

"We are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Tom Wolfe," his publisher said. "He was one of the greats and his words will live on forever." During a prolific career, turned his scathing pen to pop culture, the hippie movement, the art world, LSD, race relations and the lives of astronauts.

A dapper dresser and icon, was known for his trademark white suits, homburg hats and white kid gloves.

started his career as a with the Herald-Tribune in 1962.

His first book, a collection of articles about the flamboyant Sixties, was published in 1965 as "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby." The book became a bestseller, and established Wolfe as a leading figure in the "New Journalism" movement, which also included in its S. Thompson, and Wolfe's 1979 bestseller "The Right Stuff" focused on the US astronauts involved in the space race with the

It was made into a Hollywood hit starring and made the Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, a household name. Wolfe moved to writing novels in the mid-1980s, penning ""

A scathing takedown of greed and excess in New York, it was recognized as an essential American novel of the 1980s and was made into a film starring Wolfe was born on March 2, 1930 in Richmond, Virginia, and never sought to rebel against his conservative, white bourgeois upbringing.

After studying at and and Yale University, Wolfe began a 10-year-long newspaper reporting career.

In 1968 he published two bestsellers on the same day: "The Pump House Gang," made up of more articles about life in the Sixties, and "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," a non-fiction story about the hippie era.

The list went on with "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers," in 1970, a highly controversial book about racial friction in the

Even more controversial was Wolfe's 1975 book on the American art world, "The Painted Word," which outraged many artists.

More recently, Wolfe published "I Am Charlotte Simmons" (2004) and "Back to Blood" (2013).

Wolfe married Sheila Berger, the of Harper's magazine, in 1978. They had two children.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 23:25 IST