Hunter S. Thompson shoots himself at Aspen-area home
DENVER – Hunter S. Thompson, the unflinching gonzo journalist who threw objectivity out the window in books such as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” fatally shot himself Sunday at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67.”Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family,” Juan Thompson said in a statement released to the Aspen Daily News.
Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, a friend of Thompson, confirmed the death to the News. Sheriff’s officials did not return calls from The Associated Press late Sunday.Juan Thompson said he found his father’s body. Thompson’s wife, Anita, was not home at the time.Thompson was a counterculture icon at the height of the Watergate era, though even before that Richard Nixon said the writer represented “that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character.” He was a hard-drinking, drug-using writer whose pen spared no one, the model for Gary Trudeau’s balding “Uncle Duke” in “Doonesbury.”
Thompson’s material came together (sometimes on deadline for Rolling Stone and other magazines) in bars, convention halls and speeding cars. He was asked by CNBC’s Tim Russert in 2003 to define gonzo journalism.”It definitely has attitude,” Thompson said. “And it’s not fiction so much as imagination.”Besides the 1972 drug-hazed classic about Thompson’s time in Las Vegas, he wrote “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72” and “Hell’s Angels,” a detailed and frightening look inside the motorcycle gang. His most recent effort was “Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and The Downward Spiral of Dumbness.”
His compound in Woody Creek, not far from Aspen, was almost as legendary as Thompson. He prized peacocks and weapons; in 2000, he accidentally shot and slightly wounded his assistant, Deborah Fuller, trying to chase a bear off his property.Vail, Colorado