Rundle: the krude yet kreative legacy of Tom Wolfe

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Wolfe, who was born in Virginia in 1931, died on Monday in Manhattan after being hospitalized with an infection.

- Tom Wolfe, whose 1979 book "The Right Stuff" chronicled the high-flying adventures of the first US astronauts, has died at the age of 88.

Wolfe worked as a reporter at the Springfield Union in MA and as the Latin American correspondent for the Washington Post.

While the stories have no connecting theme, this is the first book that gave early examples of New Journalism.

In addition to his novels and nonfiction books, Wolfe pioneered the "New Journalism" style, which combined reporting with creative literary techniques.

Tom Wolfe dead Electric Kool Aid writer
GETTYTom Wolfe dead Electric Kool Aid author died in hospital yesterday

His first book "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby" was a collection of essays originally published in Esquire magazine.

Wolfe's influence is profound on American culture and its lexicon - "the right stuff", "radical chic" and "the Me Decade" (read Wolfe on all three by clicking their respective links) being but three of Wolfe's phrases which demonstrate his exceptional linguistic acumen - it will be felt for time immemorial. In 1987, Wolfe published "The Bonfire of the Vanities", a novel that also later became a film. The film version of "The Right Stuff", about the Mercury Seven astronauts, was directed by Philip Kaufman in 1983.

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.

Wolfe is survived by his wife, Sheila, and two children, Alexandra and Tommy.

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