[QODLink]
Archive
Author Hunter Thompson found dead

Hunter Thompson, the leading American journalist and author, has died at his Colorado home, in what police say could have been a suicide. He was 67.

Last Modified: 21 Feb 2005 08:35 GMT
Hunter Thompson said Bush made up the Iraqi threat

Hunter Thompson, the leading American journalist and author, has died at his Colorado home, in what police say could have been a suicide. He was 67.

Thompson was found shot dead at his home outside the ski resort of Aspen on Sunday night, police said.

 

"We do have confirmation that Hunter Thompson was found dead this evening of an apparent self-inflicted wound," said Tricia Louthis, spokeswoman for the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.

 

Thompson's son, Juan, released a family statement to the Aspen Daily News saying: "Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family."

His 1971 book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, adapted from an article written for Rolling Stone magazine, chronicled Thompson's drug-hazed misadventures in Las Vegas while covering a motorcycle race.

The book established Hunter as a cult celebrity and became the basis for a 1998 Hollywood adaptation, starring Johnny Depp as Thompson's alter-ego, Raoul Duke.

Gonzo journalism

Thompson made his drug and alcohol-fuelled antics and clashes with the authorities the central theme of his work, challenging the conventions of traditional journalism and creating a larger-than-life outlaw persona for himself along the way. 

 

"The oligarchy doesn't need an educated public. And maybe the [American] nation does prefer tyranny"

Hunter Thompson

He dubbed his style of writing "gonzo" journalism and was commonly known as the godfather of that brand of journalism.

 

He was famous for distrusting power all his life and he believed George Bush's administration had "manufactured" the Iraqi threat for its own political gain as well as the economic gain of what he called the "oligarchy", website salon.com said.

He also criticised the American people for not exercising their right to vote, the website said.

"The oligarchy doesn't need an educated public. And maybe the nation does prefer tyranny," he was quoted as saying. "I think that's what worries me."

Nationwide nervous breakdown

He was quoted as saying 9/11 had caused a "nationwide nervous breakdown" and "let the Bush crowd loot the country and savage American democracy", according to an interview published by salon.com in February 2003.

Thompson, who regarded himself as a patriot, said civil liberties had been compromised for what he called "the illusion of security".

That, he said was "a disaster of unthinkable proportions" and "part of the downward spiral of dumbness" he believed was plaguing the country.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
Whatever the referendum's outcome, energy created by the grassroots independence campaign has changed Scottish politics.
Traders and farmers struggle to cope as restrictions on travel prevent them from doing business and attending to crops.
Unique mobile messaging service, mMitra, helps poor pregnant women in Mumbai fight against maternal mortality.
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
join our mailing list